Low-Wage America: How Employers Are Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace

January 2, 2005

About 27.5 million Americans — nearly 24 percent of the labor force — earn less than $8.70 an hour, not enough to keep a family of four out of poverty, even working full-time year-round. Job ladders for these workers have been dismantled, limiting their ability to get ahead in today’s labor market. Low-Wage America is the most extensive study to date of how the choices employers make in response to economic globalization, industry deregulation, and advances in information technology affect the lives of tens of millions of workers at the bottom of the wage distribution.