States Tackle Increasing the Minimum Wage

(Congress, State Trends, Dept of Labor) Permanent link

04.19.16 - US MapThis topic is trending in Presidential campaign rhetoric. We’ve heard numbers like $15 an hour. While that rhetoric reverberates in terms of Congress and the federal government, it is most applicable at the state and municipal level where increases are already being enacted, and the financial impact experienced by businesses.

  • Oregon recently enacted the highest statewide minimum wage rate in the nation. In a phased-in approach through 2022, the minimum wage will range from $12.50 to $14.75 based on geographic area.
  • California and New York have passed measures that will gradually increase the minimum wage up to $15 over time.
  • Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, and other cities have recently approved $15 minimum wage rates. Cities like Baltimore, MD, are considering similar increases.

Many states are planning to put this issue to the voters in their state in November including Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Washington and Washington, DC. In 2014, seven states held ballot referendums on raising the minimum wage.

It is important to note that 29 states and the District of Columbia already have minimum wage rates which exceed the federal standard, 14 states have rates which equal the federal rate, 2 states have rates lower than the federal standard on the books and 5 states have no minimum in state statutes. See the Department of Labor’s handy guide. The last increase to the federal minimum wage was 2009.

Posted by Karen Woodie at 04/28/2016 12:03:08 PM |