Report: Women make up 70 percent of Maine’s minimum wage workers

Analysis by the National Women’s Law Center estimated women in Maine make up a disproportionate share of the state’s minimum wage workers, putting it among the six states with the highest such gap.

The NWLC analysis issued Wednesday is based on unpublished annual average wage and salary earnings from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and reflect an imprecise estimate of the share of minimum wage workers who are women.

The group said that’s because wages are not reported in hourly increments but as a weekly wage or annual earnings, preventing a precise estimate, NWLC said.

The chart above reflects a simplified grouping of the NWLC analysis, available in chart form and the visualization below (with all the data caveats included).

While the group says a precise calculation of the gap between men and women earning minimum wage in each state is hard to reach from federal data, the trend illustrated rings true when compared with overall earnings breakdowns by sex.

I crunched some numbers in April for Equal Pay Day and found that among Maine’s workforce of 739,430 full- and part-time workers that men made up about 76 percent of people earning $100,000 or more per year.

Both analyses give perspective on the relative financial power of men and women in each state (using the dropdown, or this second chart).

A separate but relevant price adjustment using Bureau of Economic Analysis data showed that while Maine’s $7.50-per-hour minimum wage is near the middle of the pack nationally, it drops in purchasing power when you factor in prices relative to other states.

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.