Minimum Wage Has Risen in 13 US States

Workers across 13 states in the US have already seen a rise in the minimum salary while four cities will see further pay increases. From January 1, the hourly pay of residents in certain states have risen in line with the increased cost of living. Approximately 2,5 million low income earners are predicted to benefit from the change according to think tank The Economic Policy Institute (EPI). 

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island legislatures voted to raise the minimum hourly wage by as much as $1, to $8 to $8.70, by January 1. In California, a $1 increase to $9 is scheduled in July 1. Smaller automatic increases tied to inflation will take effect in nine other states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

The Minimum Wage Increases in a Nutshell:

The state and local increases that have gone into effect last week, as compiled by the Employment Policies Institute are the following:

Arizona: $7.80 to $7.90

Colorado: $7.78 to $8.00

Connecticut: $8.25 to $8.70

Florida: $7.79 to $7.93

Missouri: $7.35 to $7.50

Montana: $7.80 to $7.90

New Jersey: $7.25 to $8.25

New York: $7.25 to $8.00

Ohio: $7.85 to $7.95

Oregon: $8.95 to $9.10

Rhode Island: $7.75 to $8.00

Vermont: $8.60 to $8.73

Washington State: $9.19 to $9.32

Albuquerque, N.M.: $8.50 to $8.60

Bernalillo County, N.M.: $8.00 to $8.50

San Francisco, Calif.: $10.55 to $10.74

San Jose, Calif.: $10.00 to $10.15

SeaTac, Wash.: $9.19 to $15.00 provides a comparative map illustrating how minimum wages will compare in 2014.

The Effect of the Minimum Wage Increases Will be Tracked by the Government

The impact of the minimum wage increases in the states will be closely tracked in Washington, where President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are in favour of  forcing an increase in the federal salary floor from $7.25 per hour.

Mr. Obama included an increase in the minimum wage in last year’s budget, but was unsuccessful in securing its passage. He is expected to double that effort in 2014 amid Democratic hopes that a fight over the minimum wage could strengthen their chances in the midterm congressional elections by driving turnout within their base.

The Minimum Wage Rise is Favourably Viewed by People

The EPI says that increasing the minimum wage could provide a modest boost to the US economy. It noted that raising the hourly rate to $10.10 by the year 2016 would put it in line with the same level seen during the 1960s once inflation is taken into account. In turn, this would add a total of $35 billion in extra salary during the phase-in period for 27.8 million workers and cause GDP to grow by approximately $22 billion.

What’s more, most voters, continue to approve higher minimum wages on the local level. Public polling shows overwhelming support for the idea of a minimum wage increase, with 76% in favour and 22% opposed, according to a Gallup survey in November.

This legislative movement will mean that minimum wages will exceed the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour in 21 states, while promising positive changes in the US economy and labour market.