Essential and front-line workers are a majority of those who would benefit from a $15 minimum wage in 2025: Levels and shares of those affected by the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 who are essential and front-line workers

Worker category Total workforce in 2025 (millions) Affected (millions) Category’s share of 32.2 million affected workers
All occupations 151.7 32.2 100.0%
Critical infrastucture workers 109.8 22 68.3%
Workers who couldn’t telecommute (pre-pandemic) 105.4 28 87.1%
Workers who can’t telecommute (in pandemic) 115.3 28.2 87.6%
Critical infrastructure workers who couldn’t telecommute (pre-pandemic) 83.7 19.9 61.9%
Critical infrastructure workers who can’t telecommute (in pandemic) 84.9 19.4 60.2%

Source: Authors' calculations using the following occupation definitions: critical infrastructure occupations (LMI Institute 2020); pre-pandemic teleworkable occupations (Dingel and Neiman 2020); and during pandemic teleworking occupations (authors’ calculations from 2020 Current Population Survey data). 

View the underlying data on epi.org.