Free Interactive Report
Decent Work and Economic Growth in the US
By 2030, UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, aims to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all. This includes ensuring equal pay, protecting workers’ rights, promoting workplace safety, reducing unemployment rates, and more. It also means supporting the employment, education, and training of young people under 24 years old.
There are over 200 million people of working age (ages 15-64) in the US and 44% of them were in low-wage jobs with median annual earnings of $18,000 in 2019. Roughly 10% of the US population (34 million people) live below the poverty line. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have minimum wage laws, but only 16 of them have minimum wage laws above the federal minimum wage. Five states have no minimum wage law.
In the US, Social Security is a significant source of income for those in retirement, as well as a social protection for workers and their families dealing with a disability or death. For 50% of people 65+, Social Security provides at least 50 percent of their income, and for about 1 in 4 seniors, it provides at least 90 percent of income. Without Social Security benefits, about 4 in 10 Americans aged 65 and older would have incomes below the poverty line. Nearly 6 million children under age 18 also received income from Social Security in 2019. While women make up half of Social Security beneficiaries in their 60s, 70% of beneficiaries in their 90s, and 96% of survivor beneficiaries, they tend to receive lower benefits than men as a result of occupation(s), amount of time working, and the gender pay gap. As of 2020, Social Security began paying out more than it takes in and will have insufficient funds to pay out promised benefits and expenditures by the mid-to-late 2030s.
Use the tool below to view economic-related indicators nationally or by state, as well as an overview of the more than 39,500 nonprofits organizations that work on addressing related issues in the US. You can also discover 737 products and services in our Tech for Good Directory related to economic mobility, mentorship, workplace safety, equal opportunity and other key areas of workforce development.
(average across all states)
the Poverty Line
Minimum Wage: Some states’ minimum wage varies based on certain characteristics of the employer and employee(s). See the Department of Labor information for a detailed list of these variations.
States without Minimum Wage: For the 5 states with no state minimum wage, the federal wage is enforced, and is shown on the trend line. For states with a minimum wage below the federal wage, the value of the state wage is shown on the trend line, but the federal minimum wage is enforced.
Arizona Minimum Wage: In 1970 Arizona had a weekly wage instead of an hourly wage, which was substituted with the federal wage on the trend line.
- State minimum wage laws and Minimum Wage value: GC Insights analysis of the National Conference of State Legislatures data and US Census Data.
- Population living in poverty by age: Kaiser Family Foundation and GC Insights analysis of US Census 2020.
- State minimum wage 1970-2021: GC Insights analysis of Department of Labor, National Conference of State Legislatures, and Tax Policy Center data.
- Nonprofit-related data: GC Insights analysis of over 3.3 million records from the Internal Revenue Service -IRS 2018-2021