Minimum Wage in America: How Many People are Earning $7.25 an Hour?

President Biden Proposed raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $15.00/hour as part of his $1.9 billion stimulus plan.

Americans have debated where to set the federal minimum wage for decades. President Joe Biden’s proposed stimulus plan aims to increase the federal minimum to $15 an hour, more than doubling the current wage of $7.25. Currently, wages vary by state, with some cities mandating more than double the federal minimum and other states with requirements below $7.25. Employees covered by both state and federal minimum wage laws are entitled to the higher of the two minimums.

How many people earn the federal minimum wage?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 1.6 million workers, or 1.9% of all hourly paid, non-self-employed workers, earned wages at or below the federal minimum wage in 2019. That year, 82.3 million people were paid hourly rates, making up 58.1% of all wage and salary workers in the United States.

Fewer Americans today make the federal minimum wage or less.
In 1980, when the federal minimum wage was $3.10 ($9.86 in 2019 dollars), 13% of hourly workers earned the federal minimum wage or less. Today, only 1.9% of hourly workers do. The number of federal minimum wage workers has decreased from 7.7 million in 1980 to 1.6 million in 2019. This is partly due to states establishing higher minimum wages than the federal level.

Continue reading “Minimum Wage in America: How Many People are Earning $7.25 an Hour?”

Florida unemployment rate holds steady, as Orlando tops metro areas for joblessness

Florida’s unemployment rate was unchanged from October at 6.4%, but Orlando recorded the highest number of any metropolitan area in the state at 7.7%.

A report released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity shows the continuing powerful effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the state and particularly Central Florida’s tourism-dependent economy.

In all, about 651,000 Floridians were jobless in November, the report says.

In Central Florida, Orange County came in at 8.1% for November, Osceola at 9.7%, Lake at 6.5% and Seminole at 5.7%. Osceola and Orange had the first- and second-highest county rates in the state.

Metro Orlando’s rate topped that of Miami’s, which in previous months had posted the highest percentage of joblessness.

Adrienne Johnston, DEO’s chief of the Bureau of Labor Market Statistics, said seasonal retail hiring was slow this year.

“I think we’re seeing where people are shopping online a little bit more of the season. Businesses did not add as many employees to their payrolls,” Johnson said in a conference call.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate for November was 6.7%.

Continue reading “Florida unemployment rate holds steady, as Orlando tops metro areas for joblessness”

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is laying off 1,100 employees

With the professional athletes gone, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is laying off about 1,100 employees because of low occupancy and canceled events in another hit to the tourism industry because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The layoffs are coming after Major League players stayed there this summer.

The Marriott hotel between Epcot and Hollywood Studios called the economic impact “historic, swift and devastating” as it alerted the state as a requirement under federal law for mass layoffs.

The entire Swan portion of the hotel had been home to MLS teams who were staying there in the “bubble” in July and August as they played in a tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

NBA players also became guests at other Disney hotels when the league restarted play in Orlando amid the pandemic.

Even though all Orlando’s theme parks are open, September has been a brutal time for the industry as thousands of employees have recently been let go or placed on indefinite furloughs.

New notices filed this week showed 5,400 Universal employees are furloughed and 1,900 employees at SeaWorld’s Orlando properties are now permanently laid off after being furloughed since March.

The Swan and Dolphin warned the economic impact will carry over into 2021.

The 1,136 positions are in multiple departments of the hotel, including 256 banquet servers, 41 cooks, 67 housekeepers and 88 loss prevention officers. The notice said the layoffs are permanent and effective Nov. 13.

Included are about 135 union employees represented by Teamsters Local 385 who work primarily as servers, housekeepers and laundry attendants. Those employees may be among the first to return if the hotel reverses course and brings back jobs.

At 11%, metro Orlando had the highest regional unemployment rate in the state in August, according to a report released Friday.

Layoffs in Central Florida keep piling up

In the spring, as the new coronavirus began to spread throughout Central Florida, companies began shedding employees and Congress rushed in to provide some short-term relief.

Not knowing how severe the outbreak would become and how long its grip on the tourism-dependent region would last, executives hoped things would go back to normal soon.

But the layoffs haven’t stopped, and the calls to Congress for more help for the jobless and for the hotels, theme parks and other businesses that employed them have gone unanswered. It’s further evidence of the stark message Florida’s chief economist, Amy Baker, delivered to lawmakers Thursday that Florida tourism will take potentially three years to recover from this crisis.

In August alone, thousands more people were laid off or placed on furlough in Central Florida, mostly from hotels, according to a review of the state’s database.

The Hilton Orlando on Destination Parkway extended furloughs for 605 employees. The Orlando World Center Marriott laid off 601, saying it doesn’t expect occupancy to pick up until 2021. Eight Universal hotels, many of which have closed, furloughed or laid off 2,130 people.

Continue reading “Layoffs in Central Florida keep piling up”

Central Florida dominates state jobless rate ranks

Central Florida, a tourism-dependent region walloped by the coronavirus pandemic, hold four of the top seven highest unemployment rates for July, according to state figures.
Osceola and Orange rank first and second, while Polk is fourth and Lake is seventh. Statewide, 11.3% of workers were unemployed. Here’s a look at county-bycounty jobless numbers for the month.

Osceola County: 20.2 percent
Orange County: 16.1percent
■ Miami-Dade County: 14.2 percent
Polk County: 13.2 percent
Broward County:13.1percent
■ Hendry County:13 percent
Lake County: 12.4 percent
■ Palm Beach County: 11.6 percent
■ Citrus County:11.2 percent
■ St. Lucie County:11percent
■ Hernando County:10.9 percent
■ Putnam County:10.9 percent
■ Hamilton County:10.7 percent
■ Lee County:10.7 percent
Seminole County: 10.5 percent
Volusia County: 10.5 percent


Continue reading “Central Florida dominates state jobless rate ranks”