New Year Brings Wage Hikes Across The United States
2017 is going to be a lot more expensive for many employers across the US. Nineteen states saw minimum wage increases take effect January 1. The AP provided a roundup of new minimum wage rates, noting that Massachusetts and Washington state “will have the highest” new minimum wages in the country at $11 per hour. California will raise its wage “to $10.50 for businesses with 26 or more employees,” while New York state is “taking a regional approach, with the wage rising to $11 in New York City, to $10.50 for small businesses in the city, $10 in its downstate suburbs and $9.70 elsewhere.” Meanwhile, voters in Arizona, Maine, Colorado, and Washington “approved increases in this year’s election,” and seven other states, Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota, “are automatically raising the wage based on indexing.” The other states seeing increases are Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, and Vermont. In an editorial, the New York Times argued that the lack of action on Federal minimum wage levels has been prompting state-by-state increases that are likely to continue unless Federal wage laws change.
What This Means For Small Businesses
The trend of rising minimum wages in states and cities across the US is worrisome for small business owners in particular, as they bear the brunt of labor costs associated with wage hikes. Fox Business reported that businesses have been challenging Arizona’s wage increase, a case that is still pending. Unless the White House and Congress can advocate effectively on behalf of small businesses, legal action at the local and state level may be the most effective way to help small business owners push back against mounting pressure to increase wages.
NBC News also reported on minimum wage increases across the US.
Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.