W.Va. workers making minimum wage or less declined in '12
CHARLESTON -- The proportion of West Virginia workers paid an hourly wage at or below the federal minimum standard declined in 2012, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday.
There were 453,000 workers being paid hourly rates in West Virginia last year. The bureau said the proportion of them earning the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and those hourly workers earning less was split at 13,000 apiece.
The portion of workers earning at or below the minimum wage standard in West Virginia fell from 7.4 percent to 5.7 percent last year, fueled by a 1.4 percentage point decrease in workers earning exactly the minimum wage.
Still, that was above the national average and tied with Nebraska and Pennsylvania for the 15th-highest proportion among the states. Idaho had the highest rate at 7.7 percent, followed by Texas, 7.5; and Oklahoma, 7.2.
The bureau said 65 percent, or 17,000, of the workers in West Virginia at or below the standard were female, down from 68 percent the previous year.
Overall, hourly employees in West Virginia earned an average of $12.92 per hour in 2012, up from $12.78 the year before. The 2012 national average was $12.80.
The average hourly rate last year for men in West Virginia was $14.77, up 23 cents from 2011. For women, the 2012 rate of $11.38 was up 46 cents from 2011 and 82 cents higher than 2010.
Nationally, men earned an average hourly rate of $13.88 and women earned $11.99 in 2012.
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