Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Minimum Wage Statistics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released information Friday regarding workers making minimum wage in Virginia.
The statistics show almost 1.7 million employees across the commonwealth were paid hourly rates in 2011. Of those employees, 7.1 percent were paid at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25. That 7.1 percent is down from a previous 7.9% the year before.
A member of the living wage campaign at the University of Virginia, Emily Filler, says the statistics are good news but still not enough for families.
"It's always good to know that people are being paid more, but I want to be clear though that the minimum wage is much less than the living wage," she said.
"While the minimum wage is $7.25 the living wage in the city of Charlottesville is $13 before employment benefits."
The statistics show that of the Virginia workers being paid at or below the federal minimum wage, 55 percent are women and 45 percent are men. Filler says regardless of gender, it's hard to survive on only the minimum wage.
"It's hard to be a low wage worker in Virginia, so that's especially true even in high paying and high funding organizations."
Virginia tied for the seventh-highest in the United States for its proportion of hourly paid workers at or below the minimum wage in 2011.