Mountain-Plains Information Office

News Release Information

12-1862-KAN

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (816) 285-7000

Minimum Wage Workers in Missouri – 2011


Of the 1.5 million workers paid hourly rates in Missouri in 2011, 54,000 earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while 55,000 earned less, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that the 109,000 workers earning the Federal minimum wage or less made up 7.1 percent of all hourly-paid workers in the state. Nationwide, those earning the Federal minimum wage or less accounted for 5.2 percent of the hourly-paid workforce. (The Missouri minimum wage is equal to the prevailing Federal minimum wage.)

In 2007, 33,000 hourly-paid workers earned the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less in the state—the lowest level since data were first available in 2000; they accounted for 2.1 percent of all workers paid an hourly wage. (See chart 1.) It was also in 2007 that the Federal minimum wage began increasing after holding steady for nearly a decade. The initial result was that more Missouri workers fell into this category, peaking at 123,000 in 2010.

Chart 1. Percentage of hourly-paid wage and salary workers with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage in Missouri, annual averages, 2001-2011

From 2010 to 2011, the portion of hourly-paid workers in Missouri who earned at or below the Federal minimum wage declined from 8.0 to 7.1 percent. The percentage of workers earning less than the Federal minimum wage fell 0.8 percentage point in 2011, while the share earning exactly the minimum wage was little changed. As a result, 2011 was the first year that the percentage of workers with earnings at the Federal minimum rate was similar to the portion with wages below the minimum.

Of the 109,000 workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less in Missouri in 2011, 71,000, or 65 percent, were women. These women represented 8.6 percent of all women paid hourly rates in the state. Men accounted for 38,000, or 35 percent, of all Missouri workers earning the prevailing minimum wage or less; they made up 5.3 percent of all men who were paid hourly rates. (See table A.)

Overall, employed wage and salary workers earning hourly rates in the state had median hourly earnings of $12.54 in 2011; nationally, the median was $12.71. The median hourly rates for men and women in Missouri in 2011 were $14.10 and $11.58, respectively. For the nation, the comparable figures were $13.80 per hour for men and $11.98 per hour for women.


Table A. Employed wage and salary workers (1) paid hourly rates with earnings at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage in Missouri, by sex, annual averages, 2001-2011
Missouri Number of workers (in thousands) Percent of workers paid hourly rates Median earnings (in dollars)
Total paid hourly rates At or below minimum wage At or below minimum wage
Total (2) At minimum wage Below minimum wage Total (2) At minimum wage Below minimum wage
Total, both

2001

1,629 47 8 39 2.9 0.5 2.4 $10.62

2002

1,602 48 10 38 3.0 0.6 2.4 10.81

2003

1,586 58 13 45 3.7 0.8 2.8 11.20

2004

1,601 42 9 33 2.6 0.6 2.1 11.05

2005

1,613 56 15 41 3.5 0.9 2.5 11.15

2006

1,581 36 12 24 2.3 0.8 1.5 11.58

2007

1,577 33 3 30 2.1 0.2 1.9 11.79

2008

1,592 50 4 46 3.1 0.3 2.9 11.77

2009

1,534 87 28 59 5.7 1.8 3.8 12.20

2010

1,531 123 55 68 8.0 3.6 4.4 12.04

2011

1,543 109 54 55 7.1 3.5 3.6 12.54
Total, men

2001

811 18 2 16 2.2 0.2 2.0 12.24

2002

799 14 4 10 1.8 0.5 1.3 12.56

2003

769 16 3 13 2.1 0.4 1.7 12.39

2004

765 13 2 11 1.7 0.3 1.4 12.77

2005

789 19 10 9 2.4 1.3 1.1 12.78

2006

772 8 2 6 1.0 0.3 0.8 13.00

2007

742 12 1 11 1.6 0.1 1.5 13.45

2008

755 14 1 13 1.9 0.1 1.7 13.66

2009

725 36 17 19 5.0 2.3 2.6 13.93

2010

720 44 22 22 6.1 3.1 3.1 13.29

2011

723 38 20 18 5.3 2.8 2.5 14.10
Total, women

2001

818 29 6 23 3.5 0.7 2.8 9.74

2002

803 35 7 28 4.4 0.9 3.5 9.78

2003

817 42 10 32 5.1 1.2 3.9 10.28

2004

836 28 6 22 3.3 0.7 2.6 10.09

2005

823 36 5 31 4.4 0.6 3.8 10.06

2006

808 27 10 17 3.3 1.2 2.1 10.42

2007

835 21 2 19 2.5 0.2 2.3 10.50

2008

837 36 3 33 4.3 0.4 3.9 10.86

2009

809 50 11 39 6.2 1.4 4.8 11.39

2010

810 78 33 45 9.6 4.1 5.6 11.31

2011

821 71 34 37 8.6 4.1 4.5 11.58

Footnotes:
(1) All self-employed persons are excluded, whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
(2) Data may not add to totals due to rounding.


In 2011, Missouri’s proportion of hourly-paid workers earning at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage ranked seventh among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Georgia had the highest proportion of hourly-paid workers earning at or below the prevailing Federal minimum wage, 9.6 percent, followed by Mississippi at 8.5 percent and Texas at 8.0 percent. Other states with shares of 7.0 percent or higher were Louisiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, Virginia, and Kansas. The states with the lowest percentage of workers earning the Federal minimum wage or below included Oregon, California, Washington, and Alaska, all less than 2.0 percent. It should be noted that, as of January 1, 2012, 18 states and the District of Columbia had laws establishing minimum wage standards that exceeded the federal level of $7.25 per hour. (See table 1 and chart 2.)

Chart 2. Minimum wage laws in the States, January 1, 2012

Technical Note

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data on minimum wage earners are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS). This survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau, using a national sample of about 60,000 households, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The earnings data are collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample. Data in this summary are annual averages.

Statistics based on the CPS data are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. The differences among data for the states reflect, in part, variations in the occupation, industry, and age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national data.

Minimum wage worker 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. For technical documentation and related information, including reliability of the CPS estimates, see www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm.

It should be noted that 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. The estimates of the numbers of minimum and subminimum wage workers presented in the accompanying tables pertain to workers paid at hourly rates; salaried and other non-hourly workers are excluded. As such, the actual number of workers with earnings at or below the prevailing minimum is undoubtedly understated.

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 in April 1990, $4.25 in April 1991, $4.75 in October 1996, and $5.15 in September 1997. On July 24, 2007, the Federal minimum wage increased to $5.85 per hour; on July 24, 2008, to $6.55 per hour; and on July 24, 2009, to $7.25 per hour.

The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings series in this release are described below:

Median hourly earnings. The median is the amount which divides a given earnings distribution into two equal groups, one having earnings above the median and the other having earnings below the median. The median is less sensitive to extreme wages than the mean; this makes it a better measure for highly skewed distributions.

Wage and salary workers. Workers age 16 and over who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. Data refer to earnings on a person’s sole or principal job. The group includes employees in both the private and public sectors but, for the purposes of the earnings series, excludes all self-employed persons, regardless of whether or not their businesses are incorporated.

For personal assistance or further information on minimum wage data, as well as other Bureau data, contact the Mountain-Plains Information Office at 816-285-7000 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 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, 2011 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 (1) At minimum wage Below minimum wage

Total, 16 years and over

73,926 3,829 1,677 2,152 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 5.2 2.3 2.9

Alabama

1,147 74 43 31 1.6 1.9 2.6 1.4 6.5 3.7 2.7

Alaska

212 4 1 3 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.9 0.5 1.4

Arizona

1,517 85 20 65 2.1 2.2 1.2 3.0 5.6 1.3 4.3

Arkansas

746 49 33 16 1.0 1.3 2.0 0.7 6.6 4.4 2.1

California

8,706 139 53 86 11.8 3.6 3.2 4.0 1.6 0.6 1.0

Colorado

1,222 49 9 40 1.7 1.3 0.5 1.9 4.0 0.7 3.3

Connecticut

870 25 4 21 1.2 0.7 0.2 1.0 2.9 0.5 2.4

Delaware

213 11 3 8 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 5.2 1.4 3.8

District of Columbia

94 4 1 3 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 4.3 1.1 3.2

Florida

3,891 246 73 173 5.3 6.4 4.4 8.0 6.3 1.9 4.4

Georgia

2,041 196 105 91 2.8 5.1 6.3 4.2 9.6 5.1 4.5

Hawaii

321 15 8 7 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.3 4.7 2.5 2.2

Idaho

379 19 12 7 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.3 5.0 3.2 1.8

Illinois

3,095 109 29 80 4.2 2.8 1.7 3.7 3.5 0.9 2.6

Indiana

1,730 108 54 54 2.3 2.8 3.2 2.5 6.2 3.1 3.1

Iowa

941 53 28 25 1.3 1.4 1.7 1.2 5.6 3.0 2.7

Kansas

802 56 27 29 1.1 1.5 1.6 1.3 7.0 3.4 3.6

Kentucky

1,077 63 30 33 1.5 1.6 1.8 1.5 5.8 2.8 3.1

Louisiana

1,011 75 33 42 1.4 2.0 2.0 2.0 7.4 3.3 4.2

Maine

381 14 3 11 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.5 3.7 0.8 2.9

Maryland

1,274 65 27 38 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.8 5.1 2.1 3.0

Massachusetts

1,539 60 11 49 2.1 1.6 0.7 2.3 3.9 0.7 3.2

Michigan

2,550 117 29 88 3.4 3.1 1.7 4.1 4.6 1.1 3.5

Minnesota

1,544 78 47 31 2.1 2.0 2.8 1.4 5.1 3.0 2.0

Mississippi

686 58 37 21 0.9 1.5 2.2 1.0 8.5 5.4 3.1

Missouri

1,543 109 54 55 2.1 2.8 3.2 2.6 7.1 3.5 3.6

Montana

271 10 6 4 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.2 3.7 2.2 1.5

Nebraska

532 29 15 14 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.7 5.5 2.8 2.6

Nevada

670 22 9 13 0.9 0.6 0.5 0.6 3.3 1.3 1.9

New Hampshire

368 14 4 10 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.5 3.8 1.1 2.7

New Jersey

1,795 99 41 58 2.4 2.6 2.4 2.7 5.5 2.3 3.2

New Mexico

459 20 6 14 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.7 4.4 1.3 3.1

New York

3,930 199 91 108 5.3 5.2 5.4 5.0 5.1 2.3 2.7

North Carolina

2,055 140 65 75 2.8 3.7 3.9 3.5 6.8 3.2 3.6

North Dakota

208 11 6 5 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.2 5.3 2.9 2.4

Ohio

3,224 150 27 123 4.4 3.9 1.6 5.7 4.7 0.8 3.8

Oklahoma

828 56 36 20 1.1 1.5 2.1 0.9 6.8 4.3 2.4

Oregon

1,010 12 4 8 1.4 0.3 0.2 0.4 1.2 0.4 0.8

Pennsylvania

3,400 193 97 96 4.6 5.0 5.8 4.5 5.7 2.9 2.8

Rhode Island

289 11 3 8 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.4 3.8 1.0 2.8

South Carolina

1,078 79 42 37 1.5 2.1 2.5 1.7 7.3 3.9 3.4

South Dakota

253 13 7 6 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 5.1 2.8 2.4

Tennessee

1,455 101 48 53 2.0 2.6 2.9 2.5 6.9 3.3 3.6

Texas

5,896 473 259 214 8.0 12.4 15.4 9.9 8.0 4.4 3.6

Utah

765 35 15 20 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.9 4.6 2.0 2.6

Vermont

182 4 1 3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 2.2 0.5 1.6

Virginia

1,697 121 57 64 2.3 3.2 3.4 3.0 7.1 3.4 3.8

Washington

1,686 31 6 25 2.3 0.8 0.4 1.2 1.8 0.4 1.5

West Virginia

462 34 20 14 0.6 0.9 1.2 0.7 7.4 4.3 3.0

Wisconsin

1,711 78 32 46 2.3 2.0 1.9 2.1 4.6 1.9 2.7

Wyoming

167 10 5 5 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.2 6.0 3.0 3.0

Footnotes:
(1) Data may not add to totals due to rounding.

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 are therefore subject to sampling error; the degree of error may be quite large for less populous States. It is not possible to determine 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. Hourly earnings do not include overtime pay, commissions, or tips.

Last Modified Date: March 12, 2013

Recommend this page using: