"Texas tied with Mississippi for states having the highest percentage of hourly paid workers earning the minimum wage or less in 2010.
Some 550,000 Texans, or 9.5 percent of hourly paid workers, made the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour or less last year. That's up 76,000 workers, or 16 percent, from 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Monday.
Leslie Helmcamp, a policy analyst with the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, which focuses on low- and moderate-income Texans, called the numbers “alarming.”
“The higher proportion of hourly paid workers who are earning at or below the minimum wage is reflective of our low high school and college completion rates,” Helmcamp said. “We can only attract higher-paying jobs if we are able to move more Texans into higher education and ultimately complete a college degree.”
Read more: Texas: The minimum-wage state - San Antonio Express-News