Even if the federal minimum remained unchanged for the last 7 years the minimum wage is rising in 14 states starting on the first day of the New Year.
Starting on Friday 29 states will have the minimum wage higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Many of the workers paid with minimum wage will get a rise next month thanks to the living wage movement which put pressure on the states to increase the wages so that working people won’t be living in poverty anymore.
The states will increase their minimum wages as following:
Alaska will pay its poorest employees $9.75 instead of $8.75; Arkansas will give them $8.00 instead of $7.30; California will pay $10.00 instead of $9.00; Colorado only $8.31 instead of $8.23; Connecticut $9.60 instead of 9.15; Hawaii $8.50 instead of $7.75; Massachusetts $10.00 instead of 9.00; Michigan will rise to $8.50 from 8.15; Nebraska to $9.00 from $8.00; New York will get to $9.00 from $8.75, except fast food workers who will be making $9.75 and even $10.50 at restaurants with over 30 employees; Rhode Island will increase to $9.60 from $9.00; South Dakota to $8.55 from $8.50; Vermont to $9.60 from $9.15 and finally West Virginia will pay its employees with $8.75 per hour instead of $8.00.
Washington, D.C., Minnesota and Maryland will also increase their wages later in 2017 and other cities and states in the United States will go as far as reaching $15 per hour for at least a part of the public-sector employees.
Other states, such as Washington, Oregon, New jersey, Ohio, Montana, Missouri, Florida and Arizona, adjust their wages to the cost of living so low inflation brings minuscule increases or no increases at all.
On the other side, some states engaged to rise their wages constantly in the following years. For example, California, that will pay its minimum wage employees $10 per hour starting on January 1, 2016, will gradually increase the minimum wage to reach $15 per hour until 2020.
Jerry Brown, Governor of California has also voted in July that the workers will have protected child-care leave, including for school emergencies.
The increased minimum wage will bring a rise to more than 9 million workers with the lowest-paid jobs.
However, many of these employees say this is not enough. The minimum wage is far from covering the worker’s needs, especially if they have children. This is why the living wage movement is pushing for a wage that would end the poverty among the working class.
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