01-06-17 | Legislation
Minimum Wage Increases Take Effect
New Years Day

19 States Increase Minimum Wage

As states move to increase their minimum wage, the federal minimum wage has remained $7.25 an hour since 2009.

On January 1, California raised its minimum wage to $10.50 per hour for companies with 26 or more employees. California is one of 19 states that raised its minimum wage at the start of 2017.

Approximately 4.3 million low-wage workers across the country are expected to receive a raise because they earn less than the new minimum earning requirements in their respective states, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Several cities in states such as New York, California and Washington have voted to institute a minimum wage that exceeds both the federal and state minimums, with some going as high as $14.82 an hour. The federal minimum wage has remained $7.25 an hour since 2009.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Arizona had one of the highest minimum wage increases, going up by $1.95 to $10 an hour. It is expected to be the biggest jump among the 19 states and one of the largest one-time increases ever enacted.

"Almost 12% of the state's workforce will receive a raise. Arizona, home to many tourism and service-sector workers, has a larger share of low-wage workers than coastal states such as California and Massachusetts, where minimum-wage increases have been the norm for several years," noted Eric Morath, reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

States that are seeing increases to their minimum wages include: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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