The federal minimum cash wage for tipped workers has been frozen at $2.13 per hour for 28 years. And because women represent more than two-thirds of tipped workers nationwide, they, and the families who depend on them, pay the price when the tipped minimum wage falls short. Nationwide, the poverty rate for women tipped workers is more than 2.5 times the rate for workers overall, and women’s concentration in tipped occupations and other low-wage jobs is an important factor contributing to persistent gender wage gaps. A number of states, however, have set minimum cash wages for tipped workers above the federal level, and seven states require employers to pay tipped employees the regular minimum wage regardless of tips. Compared with states that have a $2.13 hourly tipped minimum cash wage, women in these “One Fair Wage” states—where tipped workers must be paid the regular minimum wage before tips—face a smaller gender wage gap and a lower poverty rate.
Download Women in Tipped Occupations, State by State to view the tipped minimum cash wage, the wage gap, the share of tipped workers who are women and women of color, and poverty rates for women in tipped jobs in your state.
Share of tipped workers who are women and share of female tipped workers in poverty: NWLC calculations based on 2013-2017 ACS five-year estimates using Steven Ruggles et al., IPUMS USA: Version 9.0 [dataset] (2019), https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V9.0. Figures include all workers employed in a set of predominantly tipped occupations identified by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). See Dave Cooper, Zane Mokhiber & Ben Zipperer, EPI, Minimum Wage Simulation Model Technical Methodology (Feb. 2019), https://www.epi.org/publication/minimum-wage-simulation-model-technical-methodology/.
Minimum wages: U.S. Department of Labor, Minimum Wage Laws in the States, https://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm (last updated July 1, 2019). Some sub-state localities have adopted minimum wages above their state minimum wage, and some state minimum wage laws (e.g., New York, Oregon) provide for minimum wage rates in specified metropolitan areas that vary from the statewide base wage. For more detail on local minimum wage rates, see the Economic Policy Institute’s Minimum Wage Tracker, https:// www.epi.org/minimum-wage-tracker/.
Tipped minimum wages: U.S. Department of Labor, Minimum Wages for Tipped Employees, https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm (last updated Jan. 1, 2019).
Wage gap: NWLC calculations based on median annual earnings for women and men working full time, year round using 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) one-year estimates. Figures are in 2017 dollars.