As the new year starts, many states which opted to raise their state minimum wages (above the federally established wage) are having their increases finally kick in. Low wage laborers across 18 states will experience a measured and modest bump in hourly pay.
In Washington State, the minimum wage rises up to $11.50 per hour with a hike of 50 cents, which is the highest in the nation. However, over a period of three years workers would experience a boost in their paychecks up to $13.50 per hour.
The workers from Maine will see their minimum wage increase to $10 dollar from a $9 dollar minimum wage. This 11 percent increase was approved by voters in a ballot measure in 2016 and will eventually push the minimum wage there to $12 an hour through 2020.
Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont would also be seeing their minimum wages increase by 50 cents an hour, while some smaller hikes would be experienced in the states of Alaska, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota.
The Ex-Chief Economic Advisor to the Vice President Joe Biden – Jared Bernstein and his senior fellow at the center of Budget and Policy Priorities went on to say that the state is willing to raise the minimum wages as the low wage workers would now get an opportunity to be more educated and contribute to their economy creating a state where there is prosperity.
“As the population of low wage workers has become a bit more upscale, many places are willing to adjust their minimum wages, especially given the pervasive research that supports moderate increases,” Bernstein said in an interview. “States and localities have been increasingly willing to raise their own minimum wages as the federal value has been stuck at $7.25.”
Similarly, several big cities would also see significant increases in their minimum wages from the beginning of the New Year, as a result of the fight for 15 campaigns led by the Service Employees International Union in the recent years.
Localities in California, however, are to experience major boosts; where the minimum wage increases by $2 per hour to $15 per hour, whereas some of the minimum wage workers from Altos, Palo Alto, San Jose and San Mateo might experience an increase of $13.50 per hour.
In SeaTac, Wash and Seattle airports workers are to experience a jump in wage rates to $15.64.
Minimum wages will jump to $15.64 in SeaTac, Wash, home of Seattle’s international airport, and to $15.45 in Seattle. Wages are also set to rise in Minneapolis, Albuquerque and Flagstaff, Ariz.
Michael Saltsman, the managing director at the business-backed Employment Policies Institute, said that “Generally, it’s shown that if you raise the minimum wage, you tend to see reductions in hours for younger employees.”
Similarly, Bernstein said, “What you see … are states trying to impose preemption on their localities, disallowing increases, essentially doing the bidding of low-wage employers and trying to block such initiatives.”
Whereas Saltsman said, “States are understanding that regardless of where you stand on the merits of raising the minimum wage, having a state standard rather than a patchwork of local laws is better.”