Trends in Wage and Hour Enforcement by the U.S. Department of Labor, 1975-2004

September 1, 2005

Trends in Wage and Hour Enforcement analyzes data on the enforcement activities of the U.S. Department of Labors Wage and Hour Division (WHD) over the last three decades. This policy brief demonstrates that enforcement resources and activities of WHD, which is responsible for enforcing basic workplace laws, have either stagnated or declined at the same time that the number of workers and workplaces in the country has expanded. In combination, these two trends indicate a significant reduction in the governments capacity to enforce the most basic workplace laws.