Debate in recent years over rising income inequality and poverty in America has taken center stage in political discourse and led to a number of new labor policies in both the public and private spheres. Major retailers such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart — the largest employer in 22 states — announced wage raises in the past two years, and in July, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 — more than doubling the current minimum of $7.25 an hour.
Despite the recent achievements in improving low wages, there are a number of companies today that pay near-poverty wages to a large share of their workers. According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank Economic Policy Institute, 11.4% of full-time workers earn wages that would be considered below the poverty line for a family.
To identify the 32 companies paying Americans the least, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average annual salary of more than 1,300 companies using data from compensation data company PayScale. We identified 32 companies that pay their workers an average salary of $41,000 a year or less.
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