Special Report

Big US Companies Paying Workers Less than $10 an Hour

It is no secret that many workers making minimum wage live below the poverty line. The last time Congress raised the federal minimum wage was July 24, 2009. In the years since, it has stagnated at $7.25 per hour, failing to keep up with the rising cost of living. 

Although 30 states have set their minimum wage higher than the federal rate, some as high as $15 an hour, not all have. Five states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee – have not set a state minimum wage, and two – Georgia and Wyoming – have set theirs lower than the federal rate. In these seven states, the federal minimum applies. Here are states where the minimum wage will go up this year. 

Without a government-mandated living wage, many American workers are subject to the whims of companies that have no impetus to increase their employees’ compensation. Hospitality workers are often paid lower wages than workers in other industries, even as the CEOs of some hospitality giants pull in millions of dollars a year.

To find 20 companies that pay workers less than $10 an hour, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed wage data from the Company Wage Tracker, a collaboration between the nonprofit economic think tank Economic Policy Institute and The Shift Project, an hourly service workers data project created by University of California professors. We listed the 20 companies that pay at least 10% of their employees less than $10 an hour. All other data is from the Company Wage Tracker. 

The vast majority of these companies are in the hospitality industry, including 10 fast food chains, five popular restaurant chains, and two hotel chains. The three remaining companies are in the retail sector. Pizza Hut has the highest percentage of workers who earn under $10 an hour at 25%, with the remaining 75% of its employees earning under $15 an hour.

Although CEO pays were not available for every company, of the companies whose CEO pay was available, Dollar General dwarfed the rest, with its CEO’s compensation at $58.5 million. The next highest paid CEO on the list was Wendy’s at $13.1 million. This CEO made almost 2000 times more than his employees.

Click here to see big US companies paying workers less than $10 an hour
Click here to see our detailed methodology

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