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Monday, January 16, 2017

State minimum wage increases helped 4.3 million workers, but federal inaction has left many more behind [feedly]

State minimum wage increases helped 4.3 million workers, but federal inaction has left many more behind
http://www.epi.org/publication/state-minimum-wage-increases-helped-4-3-million-workers-but-federal-inaction-has-left-many-more-behind/

On January 1, 19 states increased their minimum wage, lifting the pay of over 4.3 million workers. This is the largest number of states ever to increase their minimum wages without an increase in the federal minimum wage. In seven of these states (Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota), the increases were due to inflation indexing, where the state minimum wage is automatically adjusted each year to match the growth in prices, thereby preventing any erosion in the real value of the minimum wage. The increases in the remaining 12 states were from legislation or ballot measures approved by voters.

The map shows the values of the minimum wage increases and the number of workers directly affected in each state.

Economic Snapshot

These increases will provide over $4.2 billion in additional wages to nearly 4.3 million affected workers in 2017 and will make a real, although modest, difference in the lives of workers and their families.

While there are 29 states (and DC) that have a minimum wage higher than the federal level, 21 states remain at $7.25 an hour. Workers in these states make up 39.2 percent of the nonfarm workforce. The average minimum wage among states above $7.25 is currently $8.90—meaning that minimum wage workers in the $7.25 states are being paid, on average, 18.5 percent less than their counterparts in states that have adopted minimum wages above $7.25. By November of 2020, as more planned increases go into effect, the average minimum wage in states above the federal level will reach $10.63. Without any change in either the federal or their state minimum wages, minimum-wage workers in the 21 states stuck at $7.25 will be paid 31.7 percent less than workers in states with higher minimum wages.


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