Raise the Dread Flag: Minimum Wage Increases Take Effect for 2017

Date: January 04, 2017

Effective Jan. 1, 19 states hiked their rates. Here’s a rundown of the impacted states, plus a look ahead at what might happen with minimum wage in 2018.

As the ball dropped, 19 states experienced minimum wage increases starting Jan. 1, according to CNBC


The states seeing wage increases are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. 

Oregon and Maryland, and the District of Columbia, also are raising wages, but those won’t go into effect until later this year, according to ABC News. 

Washington and Massachusetts are now home to the nation’s highest minimum wages, going from $9.47 and $10, respectively, to $11 an hour. Arizona had a 24 percent increase, going from $8.05 to $10 an hour. 

The current federal minimum is $7.25 per hour. 

Some states will vary wages depending on the area. For example, while New York state saw an increase, the amount will be $11 in New York City, $10 in downstate suburbs, and $9.70 elsewhere. New York City’s small businesses will get a small break, though, with their wages being set at $10.50 an hour.

When it comes to the federal minimum wage, however, an increase remains to be seen. Although President-elect Donald Trump said he supported a $10 an hour federal minimum wage during the campaign, he also chose Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants and an opponent of raising the federal minimum wage to more than $9 an hour, as Labor secretary, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Recent research highlights that these increases will be detrimental to businesses in states with minimum wage hikes. The American Action Forum estimates job growth will slow over the next five years in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington—states that approved phased-in minimum wage increases to at least $12 an hour in November 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal

However, it doesn’t look like much will change come 2018. New York and California will increase their wages incrementally to reach $15 an hour. New York City will reach $15 for businesses with 11 or more employees on Dec. 31, 2018 (smaller businesses will hit $15 a year later), while California will reach it in 2022. Meanwhile, Michigan will increase its minimum wage to $9.25 in 2018. 

Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue


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