A $15 Minimum Wage in New England: Who would be affected?
Proposals to increase the hourly minimum wage to $15.00 have garnered significant attention. California and New York have approved statewide $15.00 minimum wage policies, and similar local measures have been adopted in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia. Similar proposals are currently under consideration in several New England states. This brief provides information on workers who currently earn less than $15.00 per hour in each state in New England.
About a third of workers in New England currently make less than $15.00 per hour. A greater share of women than men earn under $15.00 per hour, and Black and Latino workers make up a disproportionate share of the sub-$15 workforce. More than half of these workers are primary earners in their families, and most work full-time. Although they have lower levels of education than the rest of the workforce, one in five has at least a bachelor’s degree. Retail, health care, and restaurants account for the largest shares of the sub-$15 workforce. More than one in five children in New England have a parent that earns less than $15 per hour.