Tuesday, January 6, 2015

21 States Raise Their Minimum Wage on January 1

The movement to increase the minimum wage was one of the biggest issues affecting the workplace in 2014. During the State of the Union address, President Obama called upon Congress to increase the minimum wage to $10.10. Not waiting for Congress to act, on January 1 twenty-one states raised their minimum wage.

Among them were states traditionally friendly toward labor, like Massachusetts, Montana, and Washington. However, a number of states that have been less friendly toward labor, like Arizona, Arkansas, and Nebraska, also increased their minimum wage. It has become increasingly common for states to automatically increase their minimum wage each year based on the Consumer Price Index, with Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington all doing so.

The state with the highest minimum wage is Washington, at $9.47 an hour, although Washington D.C.’s minimum wage will increase to $10.50 on July 1, 2015. Oregon is close behind at $9.25 an hour, while Vermont and Connecticut pay workers $9.15 an hour. Federal law requires the minimum wage to be at least $7.25 an hour, and a number of states have not raised it higher. The minimum wage remains $7.25 an hour in Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. In Illinois, it is $8.25 an hour.

Below is a chart listing the states which increased their minimum wage on January 1, comparing their 2014 minimum wage to the rate in 2015.