New York City found itself at the center of the minimum wage debate last week, when lawmakers proposed a plan to raise fast food workers’ wages to $15 per hour over the next five years, effectively giving them a 71% pay bump in the process. The city is the latest to join the $15 minimum wage club, which began with Seattle last year and now includes San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with the University of California school system.
What makes New York City’s plan unique is that it specifically targets fast food workers. As Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman explains, the industry has become an easy (and frequent) target for wage hike activists. There’s hardly a more glaring example of wage inequality in America than a side-by-side comparison of the earnings of CEOs at publicly traded fast food chains and the pay stubs of their lowest-paid workers. For example, McDonald’s CEO earned a base salary of $1.1 million last year. The average pay for a McDonald’s employee? $9 an hour. Earlier this year, the company promised to raise those wages slightly to $10 by 2016, joining fellow retailers Walmart and TJ Maxx. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 a hour.
But fast food and retail aren’t the only industries where workers earn much less than a $15 hourly wage. We analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data to find 15 jobs with the greatest number of workers earning less than $15 an hour. Take a look at our graphic below.
Credits: Icons by members of the Noun Project: Aha-Soft, Simon Child, Luis Prado, N.K. Narasimhan, Marat, DonBLC 123, Wilson Joseph, Pavel N. Note: Total Employment figures estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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