More than eight million workers will be left behind by the Trump overtime rule: Workers would receive $1.4 billion less than under the 2016 rule

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its final overtime rule, which will set the salary threshold under which salaried workers are automatically entitled to overtime pay to $35,568 a year. The rule leaves behind millions of workers who would have received overtime protections under the much stronger rule, published in 2016, that Trump administration chose to abandon.

For quick details on the history of this rulemaking, see this statement. The two tables below show just how many workers this administration is turning its back on with this rule, and how much money workers will lose. Using the same methodology used by the Department of Labor in their estimates of the economic impact of the rule, I estimate that 8.2 million workers who would have benefited from the 2016 rule will be left behind by the Trump administration’s rule, including 3.2 million workers who would have gotten new overtime protections under the 2016 rule and 5.0 million who would have gotten strengthened overtime protections under the 2016 rule. As the table shows, this administration is turning its back on 4.2 million women, 2.7 million parents of children under the age of 18, 2.9 million people of color, and 4.6 million workers without a college degree.

Table 1

Number of salaried workers left behind by the Trump overtime rule, by demographic group

Workers left behind by 2019 rule Under the 2016 rule Under the 2019 rule
Total workers left behind Workers who would have gotten new protections under 2016 rule Workers who would have gotten strengthened protections under 2016 rule Total affected workers Workers with new protections Workers with strengthened protections Total affected workers Workers with new protections Workers with strengthened protections Total salaried workers

 All

8,210,000 3,230,000 4,980,000 13,470,000 4,550,000 8,920,000 5,260,000 1,320,000 3,950,000 59,140,000
Gender
Male 4,000,000 1,410,000 2,590,000 6,560,000 1,970,000 4,590,000 2,560,000 560,000 1,990,000 32,570,000
Female 4,210,000 1,820,000 2,390,000 6,910,000 2,580,000 4,340,000 2,710,000 760,000 1,950,000 26,570,000
Parental Status
Not a parent 5,500,000 2,170,000 3,330,000 9,060,000 3,060,000 6,000,000 3,550,000 890,000 2,660,000 37,470,000
Father 1,330,000 450,000 870,000 2,130,000 630,000 1,510,000 810,000 180,000 630,000 12,210,000
Mother 1,380,000 600,000 770,000 2,280,000 860,000 1,420,000 900,000 250,000 650,000 9,460,000
Race/ethnicity
White 5,260,000 2,230,000 3,030,000 8,220,000 3,120,000 5,100,000 2,960,000 890,000 2,070,000 40,680,000
Black 1,000,000 340,000 650,000 1,680,000 480,000 1,200,000 680,000 140,000 540,000 5,460,000
Hispanic 1,240,000 360,000 880,000 2,410,000 530,000 1,880,000 1,170,000 170,000 1,000,000 7,230,000
Asian 560,000 240,000 320,000 930,000 340,000 580,000 370,000 100,000 260,000 4,810,000
Others 140,000 50,000 90,000 230,000 70,000 160,000 90,000 20,000 70,000 960,000
Age
16–24 500,000 200,000 290,000 1,000,000 320,000 680,000 500,000 120,000 380,000 2,800,000
25–34 2,400,000 1,040,000 1,360,000 3,840,000 1,420,000 2,420,000 1,440,000 380,000 1,060,000 13,510,000
35–44 1,830,000 710,000 1,120,000 2,930,000 980,000 1,950,000 1,100,000 270,000 830,000 14,550,000
45–54 1,800,000 670,000 1,130,000 2,880,000 940,000 1,940,000 1,080,000 260,000 810,000 14,330,000
55–64 1,330,000 470,000 860,000 2,170,000 670,000 1,500,000 840,000 200,000 650,000 10,720,000
65+ 350,000 130,000 220,000 660,000 220,000 440,000 310,000 90,000 220,000 3,220,000
Education
Less than high school 310,000 40,000 270,000 800,000 60,000 740,000 500,000 30,000 470,000 1,980,000
High school 1,900,000 450,000 1,450,000 3,470,000 680,000 2,780,000 1,570,000 230,000 1,340,000 9,240,000
Some college 2,400,000 830,000 1,570,000 4,040,000 1,210,000 2,830,000 1,640,000 380,000 1,270,000 12,080,000
College degree 2,650,000 1,330,000 1,320,000 3,800,000 1,790,000 2,000,000 1,150,000 460,000 680,000 20,810,000
Advanced degree 950,000 580,000 370,000 1,360,000 800,000 570,000 410,000 220,000 190,000 15,030,000

Note: Subtotals may not add up to totals due to rounding. Following the methodology used by the U.S. Department of Labor, the estimates include all workers affected by the federal salary threshold increase, and do not account for higher state salary thresholds.

Source: EPI analysis of pooled Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata, 2016–2018, following the methodology used in the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2019 final rule, “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees,” 29 CFR Part 541 (published September 24, 2019).

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With this rule, the Trump administration is cheating workers out of billions. The annual wage gains from this rule are $1.4 billion dollars less than they would have been under the 2016 rule—and these annual earnings losses balloon over time because the Trump administration neglected to include automatic indexing in their rule. Once again, President Trump has turned his back on the working people of this country.

Table 2

The total annual wages workers will lose under the Trump overtime rule will grow to $1.8 billion in the first 10 years of implementation : Projected wages workers lose under the Trump overtime rule relative to the 2016 rule in the first 10 years of implementation of the Trump rule

Projected standard threshold under the 2016 rule Standard threshold under the 2019 rule Wages lost under the 2019 rule relative to the 2016 rule Total wage increase under the 2016 rule Total wage increase under the 2019 rule
2020 $51,064 $35,568 $1,431,100,000 $1,787,200,000 $356,100,000
2021 $51,064 $35,568 $1,334,500,000 $1,606,000,000 $271,500,000
2022 $51,064 $35,568 $1,246,300,000 $1,477,100,000 $230,800,000
2023 $55,055 $35,568 $1,579,900,000 $1,770,700,000 $190,800,000
2024 $55,055 $35,568 $1,459,000,000 $1,632,400,000 $173,400,000
2025 $55,055 $35,568 $1,360,300,000 $1,504,200,000 $144,000,000
2026 $59,098 $35,568 $1,663,800,000 $1,798,500,000 $134,700,000
2027 $59,098 $35,568 $1,560,800,000 $1,687,000,000 $126,200,000
2028 $59,098 $35,568 $1,473,600,000 $1,595,800,000 $122,200,000
2029 $63,346 $35,568 $1,826,900,000 $1,938,300,000 $111,400,000

Notes: Subtotals may not add up to totals due to rounding. Following the methodology used by the U.S. Department of Labor, the estimates include all workers affected by the federal salary threshold increase, and do not account for higher state salary thresholds. Calculations account only for wage increases of workers with new protections (i.e., they do not account for workers with strengthened protections).

Source: EPI analysis of pooled Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata, 2016–2018, following the methodology used in the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2019 final rule, “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees,” 29 CFR Part 541 (published September 24, 2019).

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