On January 1st, 20 states will be slightly increasing their minimum wage to over the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Alaska will raise its minimum wage on February 24th. The increases will be up to $1.25, with an average wage of $8.
CBS explains why these minimum wages have occurred in the particular states. In Washington and eight other states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and Oregon) the minimum wage is rising simply due to annual adjustments required by state law. In four states (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota), voters approved ballot measures in 2014 to increase the minimum wage. In eight other states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont and West Virginia), legislators approved wage increases.
ABC News writes about how several cities are also scheduled minimum wage increases in 2015, including SeaTac, Washington, where it will be $15.24, and San Francisco, where it will rise to $11.05 on January 1 and $12.25 on May 1.
*Opinion* While this is a really nice gift to ring in the New Years for people that work for minimum wage, we can only hope it doesn’t hurt companies too much and that people can learn to spend their time working towards higher positions instead of protesting.
Here are some more facts about the wage increases by state:
The Lowest- Arkansas: Among the 21 states increasing their minimum wage, the lowest minimum will be in Arkansas, where it will rise $1.25 to $7.50 starting tomorrow.
Largest Rate Rise- Massachusetts: The biggest percentage rate increase will take place in Massachusetts, where the wage is increasing $1 to $9.
Biggest Effect- New York: The Empire State’s increase of 75 cents to $8.75 is projected to affect the most worker by state, according to the National Employment Law Project: 711,000 people. NY plans to increase the state’s minimum wage in three steps to $9.00 by Dec. 31, 2015.
Highest Wage- Washington: The Evergreen State will continue to have highest minimum wage when it increases by 15 cents to $9.47.