Median hourly wage (in 2015 dollars). Data for 1980 through 2000 are based on surveys in those years but reflect income from the year prior, while data for 2010 represents a 2006-2010 average and data for 2015 represents a 2011-2015 average. Universe includes civilian noninstitutional full-time wage and salary workers ages 25-64. No data is reported for demographic subgroups with insufficient sample sizes. For more information, see the data and methods document. | National Equity Atlas Data & Methods: Technical Documentation
Median hourly wage by race/ethnicity and gender:
Can all workers earn a living wage?
Why it matters
In an equitable region, wages would reflect differences in education, training, experience, and pay scales in particular occupations and industries, but would not vary systematically by race or gender. Racial gaps in wages between those with similar levels of education suggests discrimination and bias among employers. Policy and systems changes that ensure equal pay for equal work, fair hiring, and rising wages for low-wage workers will boost incomes, resulting in more of the consumer spending that drives economic growth and job creation.
Grow an equitable economy: Policies to ensure living wages for all
- Raise the floor on low-wage work by increasing the minimum wage or enacting living-wage laws, requiring paid sick days, ending wage theft, strengthening workers’ rights to organize, and ensuring fair scheduling
- Target economic development and workforce efforts to grow high-opportunity sectors that provide pathways for people without four-year degrees
- Establish standards to ensure public investments create good jobs and economic opportunity
Austin Uses Business Tax Incentives to Create Good Jobs in Construction
In 2013, Austin, Texas, passed a landmark ordinance that requires companies receiving tax incentives for new development to guarantee fair wages of at least $11 an hour and other protections for construction workers. The ordinance came about after years of organizing by the Workers Defense Project of mostly Latino men in the construction industry, who face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the country. And it is a boost for contractors who already treat their workers well by requiring their competition to do the same. Read more.