In 2014, about 1.3 million U.S. workers age 16 and over earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Another 1.7 million had wages below the federal minimum. Together these workers make up 4 percent of all hourly paid workers.
The proportion of hourly workers paid minimum wage or less was well below the level of 13 percent in 1979 when data was first collected on a regular basis and nearly the same as in 2013.
What were the characteristics of hourly workers paid at or below minimum wage in 2013?