MERIC NEWS LETTER

Majority of Missouri‚Äôs Hourly 
Paid Workers Earn More than 
State Minimum Wage

According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 82.7 percent of Missouri's hourly paid workers earned $7.15 per hour or more in 2005. Nationally, 85.1 percent of hourly workers made $7.15 per hour or more.

Missouri had 1.6 million hourly paid workers in 2005, with 1.3 million earning $7.15 per hour or more. Fifty-six thousand or 3.5 percent of the hourly paid workers made at or below $5.15 per hour, the federal minimum wage level.

Alaska had the highest proportion of their hourly workers who earned $7.15 per hour or more, but they also had the fifth smallest number of hourly workers. Among the 26 states with at least 1 million hourly paid workers, California had the highest proportion (86.1%) making over $7.15 per hour or more.

Missouri increased its minimum wage level in January 2007 from $5.15 per hour to $6.50 per hour.

Washington has the highest minimum wage level at $7.93 per hour, followed by Oregon ($7.80), Connecticut ($7.65), Vermont ($7.53), and tied are Massachusetts and California at $7.50.

Fourteen states are at the federal minimum wage level of $5.15 per hour and five states (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota and Tennessee) have no state set minimum wage.

Seven states will increase their minimum wage level beginning in July of this year, with Illinois getting the biggest bump, at one dollar per hour on July 1 and increasing an additional 25 cents per hour each year until 2010. Future minimum wage increases in Missouri will be indexed annually according to inflation.

In Missouri, along with exemptions for federally covered employment, employees of a retail or service business with gross annual sales of less than $500,000 are exempted.

Region

Total hourly workers

 At or below $5.15 per hour    At or above $7.15 per hour  
 Number of workers paid hourly rates    Percent paid hourly rates    Number of workers paid hourly rates        Percent paid hourly rates  
U.S. 75,609,000 1,882,000 2.5 64,356,000 85.1
Alabama  1,152,000 36,000 3.1 926,000 80.4
Alaska 192,000 1,000 0.5 185,000 96.1
Arizona 1,396,000 47,000 3.4 1,183,000 84.8
Arkansas 700,000 25,000 3.6 561,000 80.1
California 8,846,000 82,000 0.9 7,620,000 86.1
Colorado 1,131,000 34,000 3 1,007,000 89
Connecticut 892,000 9,000 1 825,000 92.5
Delaware 219,000 4,000 1.8 193,000 88
DC 10,000 2,000 1.8 99,000 90.6
Florida 4,404,000 117,000 2.7 3,714,000 84.3
Georgia 2,060,000 66,000 3.2 1,767,000 85.8
Hawaii 341,000 4,000 1.2 297,000 87
Idaho 415,000 12,000 2.9 340,000 81.8
Illinois 3,207,000 77,000 2.4 2,726,000 85
Indiana 1,794,000 37,000 2.1 1,571,000 87.6
Iowa 922,000 20,000 2.2 786,000 85.2
Kansas 770,000 27,000 3.5 636,000 82.6
Kentucky 1,120,000 35,000 3.1 946,000 84.5
Louisiana 1,109,000 42,000 3.8 857,000 77.2
Maine 409,000 8,000 2 365,000 89.1
Maryland 1,318,000 28,000 2.1 1,162,000 88.2
Massachusetts 1,666,000 31,000 1.9 1,496,000 89.8
Michigan 2,869,000 88,000 3.1 2,443,000 85.2
Minnesota 1,593,000 29,000 1.8 1,415,000 88.8
Mississippi 664,000 23,000 3.5 534,000 80.4
Missouri 1,613,000 56,000 3.5 1,333,000 82.7
Montana 278,000 6,000 2.2 224,000 80.5
Nebraska 544,000 17,000 3.1 469,000 86.2
Nevada 684,000 19,000 2.8 587,000 85.7
New Hampshire 377,000 11,000 2.9 340,000 90.2
New Jersey 1,922,000 40,000 2.1 1,677,000 87.2
New Mexico 505,000 18,000 3.6 406,000 80.4
New York 4,186,000 95,000 2.3 3,532,000 84.4
North Carolina 2,176,000 58,000 2.7 1,856,000 85.3
North Dakota 183,000 4,000 2.2 150,000 82.2
Ohio 3,403,000 111,000 3.3 2,890,000 84.9
Oklahoma 841,000 36,000 4.3 676,000 80.3
Oregon 959,000 10,000 1 910,000 94.9
Pennsylvania 3,340,000 97,000 2.9 2,844,000 85.2
Rhode Island 309,000 8,000 2.6 268,000 86.8
South Carolina 1,073,000 34,000 3.2 884,000 82.4
South Dakota 240,000 9,000 3.8 205,000 85.2
Tennessee 1,506,000 51,000 3.4 1,260,000 83.6
Texas 5,467,000 176,000 3.2 4,300,000 78.7
Utah 677,000 16,000 2.4 565,000 83.4
Vermont 182,000 3,000 1.6 165,000 91
Virginia 1,753,000 60,000 3.4 1,487,000 84.8
Washington 1,733,000 10,000 0.6 1,638,000 94.5
West Virginia 466,000 20,000 4.3 369,000 79.3
Wisconsin 1,743,000 27,000 1.5 1,544,000 88.6
Wyoming 150,000 4,000 2.7 125,000 82.9

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics       

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