Millions of workers nationwide could be in line for a pay hike next year, with half of U.S. states planning to boost their minimum wages in 2024.
The increases will boost the baseline pay to at least $16 an hour in three states: California, New York and Washington. In 22 states, the new minimum wages will take effect on January 1. However, Nevada and Oregon’s new rates will go into effect on July 1, while Florida’s will increase on September 30.
By contrast. workers in 20 states will still be subject to the federal minimum wage, which hasan hour since 2009, when it was last increased.
Raising the minimum wage could benefit low-wage workers at a time when many continue to struggle with higher costs due to inflation, even as it cools rapidly after hitting a 40-year high in 2022. Although price hikes are easing, the cost of groceries, rent, and other goods and services remains higher than prior to the pandemic.
About 1 in 4 U.S. workers earned less than $15 an hour in 2021, according to the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. People of color and women are overrepresented among those low-wage workers, it added.
Increasing the minimum wage is both good for workers and the overall economy, said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a group that advocates for higher baseline wages.
Low-wage workers who get pay hikes “boost the consumer spending that businesses depend on,” she said in a statement. “While the federal minimum wage falls further and further behind the cost of living at just $7.25 an hour, state increases are vital for workers, businesses and communities.”
Federal minimum wage 2024
The latest increases puts more distance between states that are lifting their minimum wages and those that continue to rely on the federal baseline pay of $7.25 an hour.
In fact, workers in six states — California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Washington — will be guaranteed baseline pay that’s more than twice that of the federal minimum wage.
Some cities next year will also boost their minimum wage above the statewide level. Denver, for instance, will increase the city’s minimum wage toon January 1, topping Colorado’s rate of $14.42 an hour.
The 20 states where the baseline wage will remain at $7.25 an hour are primarily located in the South and Midwest, ranging from Alabama to Wisconsin.
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