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Twenty states, cities and counties increased their minimum wage on July 1.
Why it matters
Efforts to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour have repeatedly failed in Congress.
Last year, President Joe Biden issued an executive order instituting , and this spring he , but efforts in Congress to raise the base pay across the US have proved unsuccessful.Despite , the federal minimum wage has remained stalled at $7.25 since July 2009.
Those in favor of lifting the minimum wage argue the current rate puts a family with one breadwinner . But critics say a $15 hourly wage would force smaller companies out of business, hurt part-time and student workers, and reduce employment amid an already shaky post-pandemic economy.
Thirty states and Washington, DC, have set their minimum wages above $7.25. On July 1, the first day of fiscal year 2023, 20 states, cities and municipalities increased their base wage even further.
Here’s what to know about the minimum wage, the case for and against raising it, and where workers could see more in their paychecks this month.
For more ways states are trying to put money in residents’ pockets, read about and .
Where has the minimum wage been raised?
Nearly two dozen states, counties and cities have boosted the minimum wage rate for hourly workers this year.
The statewide minimum wage increased to $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022, though companies with 25 employees or fewer can pay $14 an hour. As a result of ongoing inflation, the minimum wage statewide will increase to $15.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2023.
Separately, several cities and counties increased their baseline wages starting July 1, 2022.
- Alameda: $15.75 per hour
- Berkeley: $16.99
- Emeryville: $17.48
- Fremont: $16.00
- Long Beach: $16.73 an hour for hotel workers; at the convention center and airport
- Los Angeles city: $16.04
- Los Angeles County: $15.96
- Malibu: $15.96
- Milpitas: $16.40
- Pasadena: $16.11
- San Francisco County and city: $16.99
- Santa Monica: $15.96
- West Hollywood: $16.50 an hour for employers with more than 50 employees, or $16 an hour for employers with fewer than 50 employees. Hotel workers will earn $18.35 an hour.
ConnecticutOn July 1, the minimum wage in Connecticut from $13 to $14, as part of a progressive increase begun in 2019. The base pay will eventually reach $15 on June 1, 2023.
HawaiiOn June 23, Gov. David Ige signed legislation raising Hawaii’s by 2028, currently the highest in the country. It’s a gradual increase, from the current $10.10 per hour to $12 per hour, effective Oct. 1, 2022. From then:
- $14 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2024
- $16 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2026
- 18 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2028
Hawaii has no annual inflation adjustments, so the state legislature would have to act to raise it further.
In some circumstances, state, county and city officials set different wage rates and workers are paid whichever is highest. In January, the Illinois minimum wage went up to $12 an hour, with a $7.20 minimum for tipped workers and a $9.25 minimum for workers under the age of 18.
Cook County — which includes Chicago and Evanston — , increasing its minimum wage to $13.35 and the minimum for tipped workers to $7.40 an hour. (Illinois’ base pay is slated to hit $13 on Jan. 1, 2022, then $14 in 2024 and $15 in 2025.)
In Chicago, the minimum wage for businesses with four to 20 workers has risen from $14 to $14.50, while the base rate for companies with 21 or more workers has been bumped up from $15 an hour to $15.40.
MarylandMontgomery County, a bedroom community for Washington, DC, has upped its minimum wage on July 1.
- Companies with 10 or fewer workers now must pay $14 an hour, up from $13.50.
- Those with 11 to 50 workers must pay $14.50, up from $14 an hour.
- Employers with more than 50 workers must pay $15.65 an hour, up from $15.
On Jan. 1, 2022, to $10.33 an hour for companies with revenue over $500,000, and $8.42 an hour for those under that threshold.
On July 1, Minneapolis increased its minimum wage for businesses with more than 100 workers from $14.25 to $15 an hour. Businesses with 100 or workers or less must increase their minimum wage from $12.50 to $13.50 an hour.
has instituted incremental increases. As of July 1:
- Employers with five or fewer workers are required to pay $10.75 an hour, ackack.net up from $10. Companies with six to 100 workers must pay $12 an hour, up from $11.
- Employers with between 101 to 10,000 workers must pay $13.50 an hour, up from $12.50.
- Companies with more than 10,000 employees are now required to pay $15 an hour, up from $12.50 an hour.
The minimum wage for workers with health insurance an hour to $9.50 an hour. Employees without health benefits have seen their base pay bump up from $9.75 to $10.50 an hour.
The minimum wage in Nevada will continue to increase in 75-cent increments until 2024, by which time the minimum wage will be $12, or $11 for employees with health care benefits.
OregonThe state’s minimum wage went up on July 1, but by how much depends on where you work.
- In the Portland metro area, the $14 minimum wage went up to $14.75 an hour. This also affects what the area calls the , including parts of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.
- The standard wage increased from $12.75 to $13.50 an hour in regions outside the urban growth boundary, including Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Yamhill, and parts of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.
- The wage increased from $12 to $12.50 an hour in non-urban counties including Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler.
These rates are in effect through June 30, 2023. After that, the state’s baseline wage will be adjusted annually based on the
Thanks to the 2016 , the nation’s capital bumped up its minimum wage on July 1 from $15.20 to $16.10 an hour.
In addition, tipped workers’ minimum wage has risen to $5.35 an hour.
DC’s minimum wage is linked to the 12-month percentage change in the for the DC area.
How many US workers earn minimum wage?
In 2019, 1.6 million Americans, or about 1% of the US workforce, were paid the federal minimum wage or less, according to .
More than half worked part time, many were between the ages of 16 and 25, and more than 60% worked in the food service or hospitality industries, where tips often compensate for lower wages.
What is the case for raising the federal minimum wage?
Until 1968, the minimum wage kept pace with inflation and increased in step with productivity growth. If that was still the case, according to , the minimum wage would be almost $21.50 an hour — equal to an annual salary of roughly $44,000.Currently, a minimum-wage earner takes home $15,080 a year, not far above . While 30 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal baseline, 20 states — mostly in the South and Midwest — still adhere to the $7.25 standard.
According to a March 2021 , 53% of Americans support increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and 45% oppose it, with 2% undecided.
What are the arguments against raising the federal minimum wage?
In February 2021, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that entry-level jobs are needed “to start a worker’s ascent up the career ladder.”
“If they cannot get on the ladder because the minimum wage cuts off the first rung, they may be prevented from climbing their way up the ladder to bigger and better jobs,” the chamber said.
The organization also argued that while $15 an hour “may seem low from the perspective of New York City or Washington, DC or San Francisco,” it was out of line with entry-level earnings in the many other parts of the country that have lower costs of living.
A estimated that incrementally raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would benefit 17 million workers, but it would reduce employment by 1.4 million and increase the federal deficit by $54 billion over the next 10 years.