Few rewards

An agenda to give America’s working poor a raise

The state of working America is hurting: more people than ever are working in jobs that pay too little and offer too few benefits.

  • As the minimum wage has stayed stuck at $7.25 an hour for seven years, wages have stagnated. Today, 41.7 million workers earn under $12 an hour and 58.3 million workers earn under $15 an hour—wages that are too low for families to thrive.
  • Millions labor with threadbare benefits. Nearly half of all private sector workers lack a single paid sick day. 80 percent of low-wage workers do not have any earned sick leave.
  • Until recently, too few workers were protected by overtime pay rules; recently expanded protections are currently under attack.
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit fails to reach many of our lowest-paid workers, including young adults and workers without children.

Oxfam America and the Economic Policy Institute worked together to produce this report, and the accompanying interactive maps that illustrate the state of working poor America. We recommend an agenda with four vital policy changes.

Explore the interactive maps





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