Minimum-wage earners in 18 states got a raise after the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Those states have increased their minimum wage rates, effective Jan. 1, the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute reports. A total of 4.5 million workers will benefit from these pay hikes.
The amounts by which the minimum wages rose vary from 4 cents in Alaska to $1 in Maine.
This wide variation in increases is partly because eight of the increases, including that of Alaska, stem from automatic adjustments intended to help the minimum wage keep pace with rising prices, according to EPI.
The other 10 increases, including that of Maine, stem from legislation or ballot initiatives.
The 18 states in which the minimum wage just increased, and the amount of the increases — and the new minimum wage rate — are:
- Alaska: increased by 4 cents — to $9.84 per hour
- Arizona: 50 cents — $10.50
- California: 50 cents — $11
- Colorado: 90 cents — $10.20
- Florida: 15 cents — $8.25
- Hawaii: 85 cents — $10.10
- Maine: $1 — $10
- Michigan: 35 cents — $9.25
- Minnesota: 15 cents — $9.65
- Missouri: 15 cents — $7.85
- Montana: 15 cents — $8.30
- New Jersey: 16 cents — $8.60
- New York: 70 cents — $10.40
- Ohio: 15 cents — $8.30
- Rhode Island: 50 cents — $10.10
- South Dakota: 20 cents — $8.85
- Vermont: 50 cents — $10.50
- Washington: 50 cents — $11.50
If you live in one of the 32 other states and do not know what minimum wage law it operates under, you can use the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Minimum Wage Laws in the States” tool to find out.
Most states, like the 18 listed above, have adopted minimum wages that are higher than the federal minimum wage rate. In the other states, minimum wage is the same as the federal rate, or the federal rate otherwise applies.
Federal minimum wage
The federal minimum wage rate remains $7.25 per hour, which it has been since July 2009.
The Economic Policy Institute is critical of this amount, arguing that it should be about $19 per hour in 2018:
“Increasing the minimum wage is a crucial tool to help stop growing wage inequality, particularly for women and people of color who disproportionately hold minimum wage jobs. As low-wage workers face a growing number of attacks on their ability get a fair return on their work, Congress should act to set a higher wage floor for working people.”
If you wish to contact your representatives in Congress about the federal minimum wage — or any other topic, for that matter — you can look them up in the directories on the House website and the Senate website.
Meanwhile, you might be better served by checking out “10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum Wage.”
And if you’re looking to bring in some extra money in 2018, regardless of your current pay rate, check out articles like:
How do you feel about the minimum wage? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.
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