A $15 Minimum Wage for Bank Workers

In the past two years, a nationwide movement has emerged, calling for a raise to $15 per hour for the 42 percent of the U.S. workforce that earns less. In response, a growing number of cities around the country (including Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) and private-sector employers (such as the insurance company Aetna) are establishing minimum wage rates of at least $15.

The Fight for $15 campaign has focused considerable attention on the plight of lowpaid workers in fast food, home care, retail, and food service. Yet, another significant sector—banking—that the public often associates with high wages is, in fact, a major contributor to the low-wage economy. Indeed, the banking industry is marked by two extremes. At the top, high-profile executives often receive millions in compensation. But at the bottom, hundreds of thousands of bank workers make less than living wages.

This data brief examines presents wage and demographic estimates for bank tellers in the United States, the occupation representing the most workers in the banking industry.


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