The movement to increase minimum wage rates nationwide is gaining steam.
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A record number of states, cities and counties are boosting their minimum wage in 2020, according to a report published by the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group based in New York. On Jan. 1, 21 states and 26 cities and counties are set to increase the pay floor for workers.
By the end of the year, 24 states — including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Washington — and 48 cities and counties will raise their minimum wage. Of course, some of those hikes are fairly small adjustments to account for inflation, like in Florida and Ohio.
“These increases will put much-needed money into the hands of the lowest-paid workers, many of whom struggle with high and ever-increasing costs of living,” Yannet Lathrop, a researcher and policy analyst at NELP, said in a blog post about the increases.
Across the country, the number of cities and counties with a minimum pay rate of at least $15 will almost double, with the number rising to 32 in 2020, joining major metropolitan areas like New York, Seattle and San Francisco.
The federal minimum wage rate has been stuck at $7.25 per hour for the past decade. In July, the Democratic-controlled House voted to pass legislation that would raise it to $15 by 2025; however, the Republican-controlled Senate would not consider the bill, essentially ending the years-long effort to raise wages for millions of workers.
The surge in higher minimum wage will likely benefit about 6.8 million workers, who will earn an extra $8.2 billion over the course of 2020, according to analysis from the left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute. Workers who benefit from the policy change could see their annual pay go up anywhere between $150 and $1,700, on average, depending on the size of the minimum wage increase in their state.
The increases range from a $0.10 inflation adjustment in Florida to a $1.50 per hour raise in New Mexico and Washington.
Here are the states that are raising the minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2020, and the new rate:
New Jersey: $11
New Mexico: $9
New York: $11.80
South Dakota: $9.30