In the first three years of the Obama presidency, the total number of jobs declined by about 2.7 million but the number of those working for the minimum wage, or less, rose sharply.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, as Barack Obama took the oath of office there were about 2.2 million workers receiving the minimum wage or being paid even less than that. There are actually a number of exemptions to the minimum wage law and 1.9 million workers were making less than $6.55 an hour in January 2009.
The minimum wage has gone up since then, and so has the number of the lowest paid workers. At the end of 2011, there were 3.8 million Americans working for $7.25 an hour or less. The number of minimum wage workers grew 466 percent in the last three years. Those being paid less than the minimum wage grew by 18 percent. The total number of jobs in the country during this time fell by about 2 percent.
There has been a 75 percent increase in the number of adults (over the age of 25) working for minimum wage, outpacing the growth of teenagers and young adults in entry level positions.
Those working full-time at the minimum wage would earn about $15,000 a year before taxes. Most work less than full-time and rely on various government assistance programs, which may be the only sector of the economy growing as fast as low wage jobs.
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