Minimum wage 2021: 20 US states will raise rates by Jan.1

Minimum wage 2021: 20 US states will raise rates by Jan.1
Twenty states are raising minimum wage rates – some for pennies, others for a dollar or more – as part of the pre-set schedule. efforts To adapt to cost-of-living gains or to escalate toward goals like the $ 15 minimum wage an hour.

In New Mexico, the minimum wage will increase to $ 10.50, $ 1.50 more than the current wage of $ 9. And in California, the rate for employers with 26 or more workers will rise from $ 13 to $ 14 an hour, the highest statewide baseline in the country. In Minnesota, the payoff is only 8 cents, to $ 10.08 an hour for large employers. (Move your mouse down To see a complete list of changes).

The federal minimum wage of $ 7.25 an hour has not budged since 2009, and as of 2021, 20 US states will continue For a minimum wage equal to or less than the federal level, making this the default. The value of the federal minimum wage It reached its peak in 1968 When it was $ 1.60, that’s roughly $ 12 In 2020 dollars.

Although some of the state’s new increases were in place years ago, they carry additional significance now, as low-wage workers have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a lot of low-wage workers working during the Covid crisis, and many of them are in jobs that are more vulnerable to transmission,” said Ken Jacobs, head of the University’s Center for Labor and Education Research. California-Berkeley. “This would be a very welcome boost for them. Also, a lot of families are now struggling with this crisis.”

Ben Zieberer, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive think tank, said that workers’ needs are greatest during an economic downturn because with so many people out of work, they have little bargaining power, and employers are able to maintain Wages are low.

Minimum wage workers are usually younger and they mostly have jobs in the entertainment and hospitality sector. Federal data show. These service-intensive companies were shaken throughout the pandemic as public health and safety measures began Close restaurantsAnd the Hotels And the Entertainment places.
With the outbreak of the epidemic, Housing and food insecurity And the Entry decreased. And they were low-wage workers Who have suffered the brunt of the brunt From the economic fallout.

Commercial interests are in decline

Meanwhile, some lawmakers and business organizations have called for a halt to planned minimum wage increases, citing the burden on small businesses that are already struggling.

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In New York, Republican Senators urged Governor Andrew Cuomo to halt planned increases due to take effect on Thursday.

“We don’t want our small businesses to make the difficult choice of laying off workers or closing their doors because this becomes the last straw during the financial fragility of the pandemic,” said Republican leader in the Senate, Rob Orth. He said in a statement In early December.
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Como administration Later released a report He concluded that the state’s labor market recovery is “unlikely to be significantly affected” by increases in the minimum wage, and that the frequency and distribution of vaccines is likely to have a much greater impact on the labor market.

“New York is gradually implementing minimum wages over many years, and it’s not all in one fell swoop,” Evercore ISI economist Ernie Tedeschi told CNN Business by email. “Moreover, and this is the most important point. The timeline for increases in New York’s minimum wage has been known for years now, and companies have been planning and anticipating increases all the time.”

Starting Thursday, the state’s minimum hourly wage will increase 70 cents to $ 12.50 an hour. Minimum wage rates in suburban Long Island and Westchester County will rise to $ 14 an hour from $ 13 an hour. (The minimum is already set at $ 15 in New York City.)

Some states will have to wait

In Michigan, the pandemic is likely to derail efforts to increase the state’s minimum wage. over there, State law is prohibited The prescribed minimum wage increases when the state’s annual unemployment rate is higher than 8.5%.
Although the unemployment rate has improved recently in Michigan, it averaged 10.2% from January to October, so the annual average is unlikely to be Will fall below 8.5%, State Labor Relations Office He said in a press release. The state minimum wage will remain at $ 9.65, up to $ 9.87.

For the 20 states that will raise the minimum wage, the effects should ultimately be more positive than negative, said Zipper of the EPI.

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“Redistributing the money to lower-wage workers is a smart policy, because they will spend it,” he said. “This shortfall will aid the consumer demand that our economy now faces.”

And it appears that popular support is increasing to increase the minimum wage. On Election Day, Florida voters approved a measure to raise the state’s minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2026 – from $ 8.56 this year. a Public Agenda / USA Today / Ipsos Poll released in September Show increases in public support for raising the federal minimum wage.
Most minimum wage gains have occurred at the state, city, or business level and are included Companies like Target And the Amazon offers a wage of $ 15 an hour.
President-elect Joe Biden wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hourBut he is unlikely to secure blocking support in the Senate to achieve this. However, he could raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour for federal contractors with an executive order.
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