Southeast Information Office

For release: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
BLSInfoAtlanta@bls.gov
General Information: (404) 893-4222
Media Contact: (404) 893-4220


MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS IN GEORGIA – 2010


In 2010, 163,000 hour-paid workers in Georgia had earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) In the State, about 1.9 million workers were paid at hourly rates, representing 50.4 percent of all wage and salary workers(1). Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that workers paid at or below the Federal minimum wage accounted for 8.5 percent of these hourly-paid workers in Georgia(2). (See table 1.)

Chart 1. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage in Georgia, annual averages, 2000-2010

Chart 1. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage in Florida, annual averages, 2000-2010

According to the Current Population Survey (CPS) estimates for 2010, 72.9 million workers in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.8 percent of all wage and salary workers. Of those paid by the hour, 1.8 million earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage and nearly another 2.5 million reported wages below the minimum. Together, these 4.4 million workers with wages at or below the Federal minimum made up 6.0 percent of all hourly-paid workers.

The number of Georgia workers with hourly pay at or below the Federal minimum rose by 22,000 in 2010, with men and women each registering increases of 12,000. The rates of increase for both men (25.0 percent) and women (13.2 percent) workers earning at or below the Federal minimum wage slowed in 2010 compared to their 2009 increases of 128.6 and 65.5 percent, respectively. In 2010, women had a higher percentage of workers earning the Federal minimum wage than men (10.5 percent compared to 6.5 percent). (See table A and chart 2.)

Chart 2. Percentage of employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage in Georgia, by sex, annual averages, 2000-2010

Chart 2. Percentage of employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage in Georgia, by sex, annual averages, 2000-2010

Overall, Georgia wage and salary workers paid hourly rates(3) had median hourly earnings of $11.81 in 2010; nationally, the median was $12.50. The 2010 median hourly rates for men and women in Georgia were $13.06 and $10.73, respectively. (See table A.) For the United States as a whole, the median hourly rates were $13.76 for men and $11.83 for women.

Table A. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage, and median earnings of all hourly-paid workers in Georgia, annual averages, 2000-2010
Year Number of workers at or below Federal minimum wage (in thousands) All hourly-paid workers
Total Below prevailing Federal minimum wage At prevailing Federal minimum wage Number of workers (in thousands) Median earnings (in dollars)
Total

2000

76 54 22 2,099 9.69

2001

64 51 13 1,993 10.22

2002

51 48 3 1,959 10.63

2003

55 39 16 1,921 10.55

2004

39 32 7 2,022 11.21

2005

66 52 14 2,060 11.02

2006

55 50 5 2,127 11.24

2007

70 59 11 2,216 11.50

2008

76 63 13 2,084 12.12

2009

141 92 49 1,971 12.13

2010

163 78 85 1,912 11.81
Men

2000

31 23 8 1,060 10.15

2001

25 21 4 959 11.18

2002

13 12 1 969 11.75

2003

16 10 6 989 11.51

2004

8 6 2 1,074 11.95

2005

23 17 6 1,028 11.83

2006

17 16 1 1,064 11.93

2007

22 19 3 1,076 12.12

2008

21 15 6 1,010 13.16

2009

48 35 13 954 13.31

2010

60 27 33 929 13.06
Women

2000

45 31 14 1,039 8.87

2001

40 31 9 1,034 9.61

2002

38 36 2 990 9.81

2003

39 29 10 932 9.94

2004

31 26 5 948 10.33

2005

43 35 8 1,032 10.20

2006

38 34 4 1,063 10.43

2007

49 40 9 1,140 10.80

2008

55 48 7 1,075 11.21

2009

91 56 35 1,017 11.22

2010

103 51 52 984 10.73

Note: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated. Data may not
sum to totals due to rounding.

Among the States and the District of Columbia, Mississippi and Texas, at 9.5 percent each, had the highest proportion of hourly-paid workers earning at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage in 2010, followed by Alabama and West Virginia, at 9.3 percent each. Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee also had shares of at least 8.0 percent. The States with the lowest percentage of workers earning the Federal minimum wage or below included Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and California with shares at or below 2.0 percent. It should be noted that as of January 1, 2011, 17 States and the District of Columbia had laws establishing minimum wage standards that exceeded the Federal level of $7.25 per hour(4). (See table 1 and chart 3.)

Chart 3. Minimum wage laws in the States, January 1, 2011

Chart 3. Minimum wage laws in the States, January 1, 2011

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division.

Footnotes

(1) Data are for wage and salary workers age 16 and over and refer to earnings on a person’s sole or principal job. All self-employed persons are excluded whether or not their businesses are incorporated.

(2) The presence of a sizable number of workers with reported wages below the minimum does not necessarily indicate violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as there are exemptions to the minimum wage provisions of the law.

(3) Wage rates in this release use median values. The median is the middle of a distribution: half the scores are above the median and half are below the median. The median is less sensitive to extreme wages than the mean; this makes it a better measure than the mean for highly skewed distributions.

(4) U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division: www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm.

Technical Note

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data on minimum wage are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a nationwide sample survey of households that includes questions enabling the identification of hourly-paid workers and their hourly wage rate. Data in this summary are annual averages.

Minimum wage data, particularly levels, for each year are not strictly comparable with data for earlier years because of the introduction of revised population controls used in the CPS. Additional information is available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#pop.

The prevailing Federal minimum wage was $2.90 in 1979, $3.10 in 1980, and $3.35 in 1981-89. The minimum wage rose to $3.80 on April 1, 1990, to $4.25 on April 1, 1991, to $4.75 on October 1, 1996, to $5.15 on September 1, 1997, to $5.85 on July 24, 2007, to $6.55 on July 24, 2008, and to $7.25 on July 24, 2009.

For personal assistance or further information on minimum wage data, as well as other Bureau data, contact the Southeast Information Office at 404-893-4222 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employed wage and salary workers paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage by State, 2010 annual averages
State Number of workers (in thousands) Percent distribution Percent of workers paid hourly rates
Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage At or below minimum wage
Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total At minimum wage Below minimum wage

Total, 16 years and over

72,902 4,361 1,820 2,541 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 6.0 2.5 3.5

Alabama

1,141 106 59 47 1.6 2.4 3.2 1.8 9.3 5.2 4.1

Alaska

208 4 1 3 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.9 0.5 1.4

Arizona

1,492 83 38 45 2.0 1.9 2.1 1.8 5.6 2.5 3.0

Arkansas

705 56 32 24 1.0 1.3 1.8 0.9 7.9 4.5 3.4

California

8,619 174 55 119 11.8 4.0 3.0 4.7 2.0 0.6 1.4

Colorado

1,135 55 14 41 1.6 1.3 0.8 1.6 4.8 1.2 3.6

Connecticut

866 35 5 30 1.2 0.8 0.3 1.2 4.0 0.6 3.5

Delaware

203 14 6 8 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 6.9 3.0 3.9

District of Columbia

97 5 1 4 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 5.2 1.0 4.1

Florida

3,778 253 100 153 5.2 5.8 5.5 6.0 6.7 2.6 4.0

Georgia

1,912 163 85 78 2.6 3.7 4.7 3.1 8.5 4.4 4.1

Hawaii

318 15 8 7 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.3 4.7 2.5 2.2

Idaho

396 30 15 15 0.5 0.7 0.8 0.6 7.6 3.8 3.8

Illinois

3,145 126 34 92 4.3 2.9 1.9 3.6 4.0 1.1 2.9

Indiana

1,610 126 60 66 2.2 2.9 3.3 2.6 7.8 3.7 4.1

Iowa

947 61 33 28 1.3 1.4 1.8 1.1 6.4 3.5 3.0

Kansas

771 59 30 29 1.1 1.4 1.6 1.1 7.7 3.9 3.8

Kentucky

1,119 91 43 48 1.5 2.1 2.4 1.9 8.1 3.8 4.3

Louisiana

981 87 29 58 1.3 2.0 1.6 2.3 8.9 3.0 5.9

Maine

369 14 3 11 0.5 0.3 0.2 0.4 3.8 0.8 3.0

Maryland

1,311 77 21 56 1.8 1.8 1.2 2.2 5.9 1.6 4.3

Massachusetts

1,519 45 10 35 2.1 1.0 0.5 1.4 3.0 0.7 2.3

Michigan

2,478 137 30 107 3.4 3.1 1.6 4.2 5.5 1.2 4.3

Minnesota

1,497 90 39 51 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.0 6.0 2.6 3.4

Mississippi

663 63 34 29 0.9 1.4 1.9 1.1 9.5 5.1 4.4

Missouri

1,531 123 55 68 2.1 2.8 3.0 2.7 8.0 3.6 4.4

Montana

255 17 12 5 0.3 0.4 0.7 0.2 6.7 4.7 2.0

Nebraska

536 30 17 13 0.7 0.7 0.9 0.5 5.6 3.2 2.4

Nevada

651 23 10 13 0.9 0.5 0.5 0.5 3.5 1.5 2.0

New Hampshire

356 19 5 14 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.6 5.3 1.4 3.9

New Jersey

1,612 113 31 82 2.2 2.6 1.7 3.2 7.0 1.9 5.1

New Mexico

476 26 6 20 0.7 0.6 0.3 0.8 5.5 1.3 4.2

New York

4,122 264 103 161 5.7 6.1 5.7 6.3 6.4 2.5 3.9

North Carolina

2,121 168 73 95 2.9 3.9 4.0 3.7 7.9 3.4 4.5

North Dakota

200 13 7 6 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.2 6.5 3.5 3.0

Ohio

3,185 172 49 123 4.4 3.9 2.7 4.8 5.4 1.5 3.9

Oklahoma

835 72 39 33 1.1 1.7 2.1 1.3 8.6 4.7 4.0

Oregon

994 16 6 10 1.4 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.6 0.6 1.0

Pennsylvania

3,255 206 91 115 4.5 4.7 5.0 4.5 6.3 2.8 3.5

Rhode Island

294 14 4 10 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.4 4.8 1.4 3.4

South Carolina

1,050 78 32 46 1.4 1.8 1.8 1.8 7.4 3.0 4.4

South Dakota

257 15 7 8 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.3 5.8 2.7 3.1

Tennessee

1,503 124 64 60 2.1 2.8 3.5 2.4 8.3 4.3 4.0

Texas

5,763 550 268 282 7.9 12.6 14.7 11.1 9.5 4.7 4.9

Utah

739 45 21 24 1.0 1.0 1.2 0.9 6.1 2.8 3.2

Vermont

184 6 1 5 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.2 3.3 0.5 2.7

Virginia

1,712 136 53 83 2.3 3.1 2.9 3.3 7.9 3.1 4.8

Washington

1,739 19 7 12 2.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 1.1 0.4 0.7

West Virginia

430 40 23 17 0.6 0.9 1.3 0.7 9.3 5.3 4.0

Wisconsin

1,657 91 44 47 2.3 2.1 2.4 1.8 5.5 2.7 2.8

Wyoming

163 12 6 6 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.2 7.4 3.7 3.7

NOTE: Data exclude all self-employed persons whether or not their businesses are incorporated. Users are reminded that these data are based on a sample and therefore are subject to sampling error, the degree of error may be quite large for less populous States. It is not possible to determine clearly whether workers surveyed in the CPS are actually covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or by individual State minimum wage laws. Thus, some workers reported as earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage may not in fact be covered by Federal or State minimum wage laws. Also, there are a number of states that have minimum wages that exceed the Federal minimum wage. At the same time, the presence of a sizable number of workers with wages below the prevailing Federal minimum wage does not necessarily indicate violations of the FLSA or applicable State laws, because there are numerous exclusions and exemptions to these minimum wage statutes.

Last Modified Date: April 8, 2011

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