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.