Fact Sheet | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

How raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 will benefit women

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In May 2017, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), along with Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage in eight steps to $15 per hour by 2024. Beginning in 2025, the minimum wage would be “indexed” to median wages so that each year, the minimum wage would automatically be adjusted based on growth in the median wage. The bill would also gradually increase the subminimum wage for tipped workers (or “tipped minimum wage”), which has been fixed at $2.13 per hour since 1991, until it reaches parity with the regular minimum wage. While raising the minimum wage would benefit both women and men, it would disproportionately raise pay for women. 

  • Although men make up a larger share of the overall U.S. workforce, the majority of workers who would be affected by raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 (55.6 percent) are women.
  • 23.1 million women, or 33.8 percent of the female workforce, would receive higher pay if the minimum wage were raised to $15 by 2024.
    • 31.5 percent of white working women (12.7 million white women) would get a raise.
    • 43.1 percent of black working women (4.0 million black women) would get a raise.
    • 38.4 percent of Hispanic working women (4.6 million Hispanic women) would get a raise.
    • 20.4 percent of Asian working women (1.0 million Asian women) would get a raise.
  • Over 11.6 million working parents would receive higher pay under a minimum wage increase to $15 by 2024. Nearly a third, or 32.0 percent, of working mothers (7.6 million) would receive a raise (as would 16.8 percent of working fathers).
  • Children would benefit too: nearly one-quarter of children (19 million children) have at least one parent who would get a raise.
  • Of the 11.6 million working parents who would receive a raise, 4.5 million are single parents, accounting for 10.8 percent of all the workers who would be affected by a raise of the minimum wage.
  • Among single parents, the effects of the increase are more dramatic than for parents overall: 44.6 percent of all working single mothers (3.6 million) would receive a raise if the federal minimum wage were increased to $15 by 2024 (as would nearly a third—31.0 percent—of working single fathers).
  • Tipped workers—whose base pay will gradually be raised to the regular minimum wage—are predominantly women (66.6 percent) and disproportionately young; however, the majority are at least 25, and more than a quarter are at least 40 years of age.

Share of each group affected by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024

Share of total employment
Women 55.6%
Men 44.4%
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Shares of demographic groups that would benefit, by gender

Women Men
All workers 33.8% 24.9%
Working parents 32.0% 16.8%
Working single parents 44.6% 31.0%
Workers of color 37.1% 29.1%
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Source: EPI analysis of the Raise the Wage Act of 2017 using Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata

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How many working people in each state would get a boost from raising the minimum wage?

State Total share of workforce affected Total affected Share of working women affected Cumulative change in average annual earnings of all affected workers (2016$) Change from under current policy Cumulative change in total annual wages of all affected workers (2016$)
Alabama 40.10% 774,000 47.5% $4,200 21.00% $3,252,486,000
Alaska 25.70% 80,000 28.3% $2,400 10.90% $188,651,000
Arizona 36.30% 1,066,000 40.6% $1,200 5.30% $1,269,026,000
Arkansas 39.70% 479,000 44.7% $4,100 20.50% $1,979,669,000
California 0.00% 0 0.0% 0 0 0
Colorado 29.60% 751,000 34.4% $1,200 5.20% $918,042,000
Connecticut 27.60% 445,000 32.6% $2,700 14.70% $1,202,809,000
Delaware 32.10% 139,000 35.6% $3,800 17.80% $528,941,000
Florida 37.90% 3,264,000 42.8% $3,700 18.10% $12,201,480,000
Georgia 38.30% 1,699,000 42.9% $4,400 21.40% $7,413,107,000
Hawaii 32.50% 223,000 38.8% $2,700 12.80% $607,951,000
Idaho 41.10% 288,000 48.3% $4,100 20.80% $1,176,000,000
Illinois 33.30% 1,924,000 39.0% $3,600 18.30% $6,865,013,000
Indiana 37.90% 1,116,000 43.1% $3,800 19.40% $4,263,122,000
Iowa 38.50% 558,000 45.8% $3,400 17.60% $1,874,748,000
Kansas 36.60% 479,000 40.5% $3,800 19.80% $1,829,064,000
Kentucky 37.60% 638,000 41.7% $4,300 21.70% $2,747,773,000
Louisiana 39.60% 728,000 48.4% $4,600 22.70% $3,348,961,000
Maine 34.10% 192,000 40.2% $1,000 4.80% $200,595,000
Maryland 27.80% 820,000 30.5% $2,900 13.70% $2,357,419,000
Massachusetts 26.10% 843,000 29.1% $2,300 11.80% $1,967,774,000
Michigan 35.70% 1,507,000 41.6% $2,900 15.00% $4,410,465,000
Minnesota 27.30% 703,000 32.1% $2,000 10.70% $1,433,670,000
Mississippi 44.40% 504,000 50.1% $4,900 24.60% $2,493,694,000
Missouri 37.70% 1,026,000 43.0% $3,700 18.70% $3,830,289,000
Montana 38.90% 162,000 45.8% $3,000 15.90% $490,341,000
Nebraska 36.90% 328,000 43.8% $3,200 16.00% $1,040,134,000
Nevada 40.80% 535,000 47.3% $3,500 16.10% $1,874,810,000
New Hampshire 28.50% 189,000 33.1% $3,300 17.80% $628,915,000
New Jersey 27.80% 1,169,000 31.8% $3,500 17.80% $4,075,765,000
New Mexico 42.20% 370,000 46.9% $4,100 21.60% $1,527,206,000
New York 12.20% 1,057,000 13.6% $1,100 4.70% $1,188,309,000
North Carolina 38.60% 1,689,000 43.4% $4,600 23.30% $7,743,440,000
North Dakota 28.80% 104,000 33.6% $3,100 15.80% $324,725,000
Ohio 35.80% 1,788,000 42.9% $3,400 18.00% $6,122,617,000
Oklahoma 38.70% 595,000 44.6% $4,200 20.60% $2,476,581,000
Oregon 29.60% 515,000 31.3% $700 3.20% $370,442,000
Pennsylvania 35.40% 2,031,000 41.9% $3,600 19.40% $7,366,193,000
Rhode Island 33.40% 165,000 37.7% $3,000 15.00% $490,702,000
South Carolina 37.70% 762,000 44.4% $4,200 21.60% $3,165,498,000
South Dakota 34.00% 129,000 41.8% $2,700 13.90% $352,424,000
Tennessee 39.10% 1,083,000 46.8% $4,100 20.60% $4,421,745,000
Texas 37.60% 4,687,000 43.2% $4,400 21.60% $20,386,504,000
Utah 34.90% 469,000 46.5% $3,400 19.00% $1,603,001,000
Vermont 30.60% 87,000 34.1% $2,000 9.80% $176,136,000
Virginia 33.70% 1,310,000 39.0% $4,000 21.20% $5,289,396,000
Washington 24.20% 778,000 27.4% $300 1.30% $238,015,000
Washington D.C. 2.70% 10,000 2.6% $4,300 13.90% $42,133,000
West Virginia 37.10% 244,000 44.6% $3,900 19.10% $942,090,000
Wisconsin 32.50% 883,000 38.1% $3,500 18.80% $3,053,920,000
Wyoming 32.50% 81,000 43.3% $3,700 19.80% $301,921,000

Note: The map is colored based on the share of the state workforce that would be affected.

Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata, 2016; Dollar values adjusted by projections for CPI-U in CBO (2017)

Notes: Values reflect the result of the proposed change in the federal minimum wage. Wage changes resulting from scheduled state minimum wage laws are accounted for in the simulation. Totals may not sum due to rounding. Shares calculated from unrounded values. Total estimated workers is estimated from the CPS respondents who were 16 years old or older, employed, but not self-employed, and for whom a valid hourly wage is either reported or can be determined from weekly earnings and usual weekly hours.

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Data and figures in this fact sheet are drawn from David Cooper, Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 by 2024 Would Lift Wages for 41 Million American Workers, Economic Policy Institute, April 26, 2017, with the exception of data about tipped workers, which draw from Sylvia Allegretto and David Cooper, Twenty-Three Years and Still Waiting for Change: Why It’s Time to Give Tipped Workers the Regular Minimum Wage, Economic Policy Institute, July 10, 2014.


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