Skip to main content

Who earns the minimum wage in Minnesota?

4 findings about the nearly 250,000 Minnesotans who don't make more than $9.50 an hour.

Nearly a quarter-million workers in Minnesota earn the minimum wage. Who do you think they are?

Teenagers and people waiting tables? A new state report shows you wouldn't be wrong to think that way, but you'd only have a slice of the picture.

The Department of Labor and Industry serves up a boatload of numbers in a document you can read here.

Here are a few highlights, though, that GoMN picked out about the state's minimum wage earners, focusing on their age, their education, and how many work in the food and beverage industry.

By the way, Minnesota's minimum wage is $9.50 an hour for most businesses. Under state law small companies (ones that do less than $500,000 worth of business per year) can pay wages as low as $7.75 an hour.

Age: Almost half are 25+

Yes, teenage employees are more likely to be paid the minimum wage. But they're not a huge part of the workforce. When you look at who makes the minimum, 29 percent are in their teens. And 54 percent are younger than 25.

On the other hand, that means 46 percent of those making $9.50 or less per hour are at least 25 years old.

In terms of gender, 60 percent of minimum wage earners are women and 40 percent are men.

Education: Of those 20 or older, 88 percent have a diploma

The vast majority of adults making the minimum wage have at least a high school education. The state's numbers show that among those 20 or older only 12 percent had not finished high school.

A majority of them – 59 percent – also had some college education.

Work: Fewer than one-third sell food and drinks

The 2016 figures show that 31 percent of the Minnesotans earning the minimum wage work with food or drinks. That's more than any other industry. 20 percent are in retail. Next comes manufacturing with 6 percent.

The state says 38 percent of the food and beverage workers qualified for overtime pay or tips or commissions (they abbreviate that as OTC).

Altogether, 18 percent of minimum wage earners also had some OTC pay.

If you look just at Minnesotans who prepare or serve food and drinks, 55 percent of them were paid the minimum wage last year.

Compared to inflation

Minnesota created a minimum wage in 1974. The recent hike to $9.50 has sent it well above the national minimum of $7.25. According to the folks at Labor and Industry, if you adjust for inflation Minnesota's wage is 6 percent higher now than it was in 1974, while the U.S. minimum is 27 percent lower.

Again, you can look over the full report here. It's actually only 27 pages and a lot of that is charts and graphs so it's not THAT much reading.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 1.25.30 PM

Police trying to ID 'Playboy bandit' and 'no-pants raider' suspect

Police are calling the unidentified man "the Playboy bandit" and the "no-pants raider."

storm, severe, shelf cloud

Twin Cities under severe thunderstorm watch Tuesday afternoon

Large hail and damaging winds are the main threats.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 9.27.30 AM

Famous Dave's family brings new BBQ biz to the south metro

The newest Twin Cities location is the first to offer wine slushies on the menu.

storm, shelf cloud, severe weather

Large hail possible with strong storms in eastern MN, WI

Watch the forecast update with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin governor

WI governor vows to protect anyone charged with abortion crimes

“You think it’s bad now? The four Republicans that are going after me, one of them we’re going to beat, they are going to make it worse," Evers said.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, June 28

The state will stop providing daily updates and move to weekly editions beginning Thursday, June 30.

FWV_YSOWAAI_CS-

Sports anchor Hobie Artigue announces FOX9 departure

Artigue has spent the past seven years covering Minnesota sports.

hennepin county medical center

Boy, 7, dies after being pulled from pool in south Minneapolis

The boy was pulled from a pool at a home in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 8.32.18 AM

Nashville man leaving wedding shot in the face in Minneapolis

He was leaving a wedding when gunfire erupted near the Stone Arch Bridge Saturday night.

image

Abogados Café in St. Paul is the first law-themed coffee shop in America

The new business is Minnesota's first Latina-owned coffee shop.

Clydesdale

Man dies after being run over by his Clydesdale in St. Cloud

The accident happened Sunday afternoon at the St. Cloud MAC.

Related

Minnesota's minimum wage to go up 21 cents on Jan. 1

The rates are being adjusted for inflation.

Minnesota's minimum wage to rise on Jan. 1

Minimum wage workers will see a pay rise in 2019.

One-dollar bill, cash, money

New Minnesota minimum wage for 2021 revealed

The very modest rise comes after a period of low inflation.

Appeals court upholds Minneapolis' $15 minimum wage

A local company said the city's minimum wage law conflicted with the state minimum wage.

Minnesota's businesses prepare for minimum wage increase on Jan. 1

It will rise to $10 for large employers, and $8.15 for small.

All minimum wage workers in Minnesota will get a raise

It's all thanks to inflation – and a 2014 law.