Who doesn't get the federal minimum wage? There are exemptions in the law for certain farm workers, seasonal workers, health aides, and workers who receive tips.
In 2016, Georgia had about 2.3 million workers paid hourly rates, and 51,000 of them (or 2.2 percent) were paid below the federal minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An estimated 90,000, or 3.9 percent, were paid no more than the federal minimum wage.
Overall, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina had the highest percentages of hourly paid workers earning at or below the federal minimum wage, about 5 percent, BLS said.
Georgia is one of seven states that have either a lower state minimum wage than the federal standard, or no state minimum wage at all, said Wesley Tharpe, research director at the left-leaning think tank Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.
“In practice, the vast majority of workers in every state are subject to the federal requirement of $7.25 an hour,” Tharpe said.
Georgia’s minimum wage of $5.15 per hour is the lowest in the nation, but Wyoming also has the same minimum wage. Most of Georgia’s workers paid hourly rates earn the federal minimum of $7.25 or more.
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