Most minimum wage workers are white and female, but their numbers are dwindling

Poll Reveals Typical Minimum Wage Worker Is A White Female
Poll Reveals Typical Minimum Wage Worker Is A White Female


Surprising new information about the majority of Americans earning minimum wage has been revealed in a new poll.

About half of the 1.532 million people holding down a $7.25 an hour job are young (16-24), a staggering majority are not minorities and most work only part-time, according to the Pew Research Institute. But their numbers are dwindling.

Half of all minimum wage workers are women and 77 percent are white, Pew said. About 64 percent do not work full-time.

A further review of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Pew found that the share of workers at or below the minimum wage has been steadily declining over the past few decades.

The ranks of minimum wage employees have dropped from 13.4 percent of hourly workers in 1979 to only 4.3 percent in 2013, according to the federal government.

This new information comes as workers around the country are protesting to support the "Fight for 15," an effort to get the minimum wage up to $15 per hour.

Fast food employees make up the bulk of the protesters and the bulk of minimum wage employees, 1.5 million, to be exact.

The rest can be found scattered from sales and retail to office workers, and buildings and maintenance employees to even the healthcare sector.

But the protests have been staged outside McDonald's, Burger King and other burger joints whose locations are more eponymous with lower wages.

Several states including Alaska, California, Florida, Oregon and Washington have moved to mandate higher minimum wages – none have approached $15 per hour.

Chicago and Seattle are considering proposals to raise the minimum wage within city limits to $15 per hour.

Adjusted for inflation, the $7.25 per hour minimum wage buys more than it has in decades, according to Pew, but it clearly is not enough.

Related links:
Vast majority of AOL readers vote against raising fast food wages
The 'Fight for 15' may cost restaurants more than just higher wages, study says