18 States Will Increase Their Minimum Wages On January 1, Benefiting 4.5 Million Workers

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At the beginning of 2018, 18 states will increase their minimum wage, providing over $5 billion in additional wages to 4.5 million workers across the country. In a majority of these states, minimum wage increases (ranging from $0.35 in Michigan to $1.00 in Maine) are the result of legislation or ballot measures approved by voters in recent years. Eight of these states (Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota) will have smaller automatic increases that adjust the minimum wage to keep pace with price growth. This automatic inflation adjustment preserves the buying power of the minimum wage, which has steadily eroded over time.
The map shows the value of the minimum wage increase and the number of workers directly affected in each state. (See data for each state.)
ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT

State minimum wage increases helped 4.5 million workers, but federal inaction has left many more behindStates with minimum wage increases effective January 1, 2018

Maine
Vt.
N.H.
Wash.
Idaho
Mont.
N.D.
Minn.
Ill.
Wis.
Mich.
N.Y.
R.I.
Mass.
Ore.
Nev.
Wyo.
S.D.
Iowa
Ind.
Ohio
Pa.
N.J.
Conn.
Calif.
Utah
Colo.
Neb.
Mo.
Ky.
W.Va.
Va.
Md.
Del.
Ariz.
N.M.
Kan.
Ark.
Tenn.
N.C.
S.C.
D.C.
Okla.
La.
Miss.
Ala.
Ga.
Alaska
Hawaii
Texas
Fla.
  No increase  Inflation adjustment  Legislation/ballot measures
  No increase  Inflation adjustment  Legislation/ballot measures

StateShare of workforce directly benefitingType of increaseNew minimum wage as of Jan. 1, 2018Amount of increaseTotal workers directly benefitingTotal increase in annual wages
Alabama0.00%
Arkansas0.00%
Connecticut0.00%
Delaware0.00%
Georgia0.00%
Idaho0.00%
Illinois0.00%
Indiana0.00%
Iowa0.00%
Kansas0.00%
Kentucky0.00%
Louisiana0.00%
Maryland0.00%
Massachusetts0.00%
Mississippi0.00%
Nebraska0.00%
Nevada0.00%
New Hampshire0.00%
New Mexico0.00%
North Carolina0.00%
North Dakota0.00%
Oklahoma0.00%
Oregon0.00%
Pennsylvania0.00%
South Carolina0.00%
Tennessee0.00%
Texas0.00%
Utah0.00%
Virginia0.00%
Washington D.C.0.00%
West Virginia0.00%
Wisconsin0.00%
Wyoming0.00%
Missouri1.6%Inflation adjustment$7.85$0.1544,000$30,263,000
Montana1.9%Inflation adjustment$8.30$0.158,000$8,111,000
Florida2.2%Inflation adjustment$8.25$0.15185,000$181,003,000
New Jersey2.3%Inflation adjustment$8.60$0.1691,000$93,067,000
South Dakota2.7%Inflation adjustment$8.85$0.2010,000$8,344,000
Ohio2.9%Inflation adjustment$8.30$0.15146,000$106,605,000
Alaska4.1%Inflation adjustment$9.84$0.0412,000$18,908,000
Minnesota5.0%Inflation adjustment$9.65$0.15129,000$115,838,000
New York4.5%Legislation$10.40$0.70379,000$425,415,000
Michigan6.1%Legislation$9.25$0.35257,000$219,846,000
Rhode Island6.2%Legislation$10.10$0.5030,000$44,335,000
Colorado6.8%Legislation$10.20$0.90167,000$250,296,000
Hawaii8.6%Legislation$10.10$0.8551,000$68,503,000
Maine10.4%Legislation$10.00$1.0059,000$79,577,000
Vermont10.6%Legislation$10.50$0.5031,000$34,694,000
Washington12.0%Legislation$11.50$0.50370,000$411,282,000
California13.1%Legislation$11.00$0.502,095,000$2,686,724,000
Arizona16.4%Legislation$10.50$0.50448,000$389,517,000
“Legislation” indicates that the new rate was established by the legislature or through a ballot measure. “Inflation adjustment” indicates that the new rate was established by a formula, reflecting the change in prices over the preceding year
Directly affected workers will see their wages rise because the new minimum wage rate exceeds their current hourly pay. This does not include additional workers who may receive a wage increase through “spillover” effects, as employers adjust overall pay scales.
Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey microdata 2016

The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009. Relative to any of the most common benchmarks, such as the cost of living or average productivity, the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 is simply too low. If it had kept up with productivity since the late 1960s, the federal minimum wage would be worth about $19 an hour in 2018. In the absence of federal action, 29 states and the District of Columbia have raised their minimum wages above the federal minimum wage. Yet, in 21 states, workers are still paid at far lower wages than their counterparts a generation ago. Increasing the minimum wage is a crucial tool to help stop growing wage inequality, particularly for women and people of color who disproportionately hold minimum wage jobs. As low-wage workers face a growing number of attacks on their ability get a fair return on their work, Congress should act to set a higher wage floor for working people.
EPI’s minimum wage tracker will be updated as minimum wage increases take effect in 2018.

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