March 2007, Heather Boushey, Shawn Fremstad, Rachel Gragg, Margy Waller
Over 40 million jobs in the United States — about 1 in 3 — pay low wages ($11.11 per hour or less) and often do not offer employment benefits like health insurance, retirement savings accounts, paid sick days or family leave. These low-wage jobs are replacing jobs that have historically supported a broad middle class. This report provides a clear and sobering picture of the low-wage labor market through analysis of labor market data, including: downward wage trends over time, poor work conditions, largest occupations, and declining mobility. The authors used a social inclusion definition of low-wage work that allows for comparison among jobs in the United States.