Image via Brookings Institute

published on November 7, 2019 - 2:27 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Central Valley cities do not rank well in percentages of low-wage workers, according to a new study.

Brookings Metro released a nationwide, comprehensive report detailing the low-wage workforce in metropolitan areas.

Visalia-Porterville ranked third from last out of 373 metros, with 58.3% of its workforce qualifying as low-wage. That number translates to 90,260 workers. Nationwide, they determined 44% of workers between 18-64 have low-wage jobs, which Brookings defined as an hourly wage at or below $10.22 with a median $17,950 earned annually.

Madera ranked 14th from the bottom with 54.9% or 25,860 people, slightly better than Merced with 55.5% and 49,440.

Fresno ranked in the middle of the report with 54% of workers as low-wage, or 182,857. For the area, those earning $15.58 an hour or less qualified as low-wage.

The nonprofit public policy organization studied data between 2012 and 2016. They calculated totals by dividing up workers in age categories between 16-24 years old, 25-50 years old and 51-64 years old. They also qualified work force as people who had held any type of job within the last year of data. Brookings calculated wages by comparing wages to cost of living.

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