Earning

A record number of places are raising the minimum wage in 2020 — here's how much workers can earn

Twenty/20

Nearly 7 million workers will be getting a raise on or around January 1, according to the Economic Policy Institute. A record number of cities, counties, and states are increasing the minimum wage in the new year — in some cases, up to $15 per hour.

In all, more than 70 jurisdictions across the country are raising the minimum wage in 2020, according to a report released earlier this month by the National Employment Law Project (NELP). That tally includes 24 states, up from 21 states that boosted wages in 2019.

Many areas are implementing relatively small increases of as little as 10 cents to the wage floor to compensate for inflation, or an increased cost of living. But others are ushering in bumps of more than $1 per hour. And several states will institute wage increases as a part of incremental bumps toward an eventual $15 minimum wage.

For someone working full time in a minimum-wage job, the increases could amount to as much as $3,120 over the course of 2020, depending on where they live.

Here's what the new minimum hourly wages will look like at the state level, according to NELP's analysis. (Other changes may affect workers at the city and county level.)

Alaska

Current minimum wage: $9.89

New minimum wage: $10.19

Arizona

Current minimum wage: $11

New minimum wage: $12

Arkansas

Current minimum wage: $9.25

New minimum wage: $10

California

Current minimum wage: $12 at large employers and $11 at small employers

New minimum wage: $13 at large employers and $12 at small employers

Colorado

Current minimum wage: $11.10

New minimum wage: $12

Florida

Current minimum wage: $8.46

New minimum wage: $8.56

Illinois

Current minimum wage: $8.25

New minimum wage: $9.25

Maine

Current minimum wage: $11

New minimum wage: $12

Maryland

Current minimum wage: $10.10

New minimum wage: $11

Massachusetts

Current minimum wage: $12

New minimum wage: $12.75

Michigan

Current minimum wage: $9.45

New minimum wage: $9.65

Minnesota

Current minimum wage: $9.85 at large employers and $8.04 at small employers

New minimum wage: $10 at large employers and $8.15 at small employers

Missouri

Current minimum wage: $8.60

New minimum wage: $9.45

Montana

Current minimum wage: $8.50

New minimum wage: $8.65

New Jersey

Current minimum wage: $10

New minimum wage: $11 at most employers and $10.30 for seasonal, small, and agricultural employers

New Mexico

Current minimum wage: $7.50

New minimum wage: $9

New York

Current minimum wage: $11.10

New minimum wage: $11.80

Ohio

Current minimum wage: $8.55

New minimum wage: $8.70

South Dakota

Current minimum wage: $9.10

New minimum wage: $9.30

Vermont

Current minimum wage: $10.78

New minimum wage: $10.96

Washington

Current minimum wage: $12

New minimum wage: $13.50

'It hasn't had the negative effects that were feared'

Activism — including the Fight for $15 movement — has contributed to the number of jurisdictions raising wages, according to Yannet Lathrop, a NELP researcher and policy analyst who wrote the report.

"Local communities all around the country strongly support raising the minimum wage, because people see their friends, neighbors, or themselves working hard but not getting ahead," Lathrop said in a statement.

Those in support of increasing the minimum wage say that forcing employers to pay more would help low-wage workers struggling to get by, as well as further stimulate the economy as people would have more money to spend. Opponents of the wage increase, though, have warned of potential consequences, including higher prices for goods and services, businesses being forced to close or move, and fewer jobs.

On a national scale, a $15 minimum wage could lead to a loss of 1.3 million jobs, according to a study published earlier this year by the Congressional Budget Office. But the report also noted that it could increase wages for 17 million workers, and effectively lift more than 1.3 million people out of poverty.

Nicole Hallett, an associate professor of law at the University of Buffalo who studies labor and employment law, told Grow earlier this year that there's still a lot of research to be done on the issue. But Hallett says studies on areas with higher minimum wages so far "have shown that it hasn't had the negative effects that were feared."

In Seattle, for example, studies show that workers are largely benefiting from a higher minimum wage. The same is largely true in New York City, where restaurants are seeing an increase in business, and restaurant workers are seeing an increase in pay.

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