Dee DePass has been a Star Tribune business reporter since 1993, covering small business, financial institutions, manufacturing and, most recently, the economy. Originally from New York, Dee came to Minnesota after earning her master's in journalism at the University of Maryland and her undergraduate degree at Vassar College.

State releases minimum wage data

Posted by: Dee DePass under Compensation Updated: November 21, 2011 - 1:09 PM

A study released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry suggests that 95,000 Minnesotans made $7.25 an hour or less in fiscal 2010.

While the U.S. minimum wage rate is $7.25, Minnesota's minimum wage is only $6.15 an hour, meaning that some workers here make far below what is considered a livable wage.  Some workers are covered by both state and federal minimum wage laws and as a result, would make the higher of the two wages.

Still, they are not getting rich.

In fact, the report found that:

  •  after adjusting for inflation, hourly earnings averaged the same in 2010 as they did in 1970.
  •  The younger the worker, the less the pay.
  •  Some 28 percent of 15 to 19 year olds made minimum wage or less. 
  •  Only 3.4 percent of 25 to 54 year olds made minimum wage. It was 3.3 percent for those over age 55.
  •  High school dropouts made up 32 percent of all hourly workers at or below minimum wage.
  •  29 percent of Minnesotans working at or below $7.25 an hour also received overtime, tips or commission pay. 
  •  52 percent of restaurant workers making minimum wage also made overtime, tips or commission pay.
  •  8.2 percent of all workers in non-metro areas toiled for minimum wage or less. In cities, the figure was 5.9 percent.

 

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