Fewer W.Va. workers making minimum wage or less

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Labor statistics show the percentage of West Virginia workers paid an hourly wage at or below the federal minimum standard declined in 2011.

There were 462,000 workers being paid hourly rates in West Virginia last year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday that 20,000 of them earned the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, while 14,000 hourly workers earned less than that.

The portion of workers earning at or below the minimum wage standard in West Virginia fell from 9.3 percent to 7.4 percent last year. The bureau says 68 percent of those workers are female.

The percentage of workers earning minimum wage exceeded those below the minimum for the second straight year in West Virginia.

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