January 2, 2014

Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams

2014 Brings Pay Increases to Minimum Wage Workers

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Thanks to new legislation taking effect this year, an estimated 2.5 million minimum wage workers in at least 13 states will receive much-needed pay increases in 2014. As wealth inequality continues to grow, these latest pay increases are a step in the right direction.

In New York, the minimum wage increased to $8.00 an hour on New Year’s Eve and will increase another dollar by 2015. In Connecticut, the minimum wage rose to $8.70 an hour and will increase to $9.00 per hour next year. New Jersey has the highest increase, from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour.

Ten states will see increases due to indexing for inflation, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Several cities and counties have also adopted higher minimum wage requirements. The District of Columbia City Council recently voted unanimously to increase the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour by 2016 and adjust it annually for inflation thereafter. In Maryland, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, which border the District, also passed minimum wage increases. The small town of SeaTac, Washington, recently voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for some workers.

Previously, only 19 states required wages above the federal level, currently set at $7.25 an hour. This year that number increases to 21 states. Five states have no minimum wage requirement at all beyond the federal level.

The recent increases to the minimum wage come after a year marked with worker-led campaigns that exposed the crisis of low wages at some of the nation’s most profitable employers. Fast food strikes and Black Friday Walmart protests renewed attention on the reality of low-wage employment in the country. Recent polls show as many as two-thirds of Americans support an increase to the federal minimum wage. Because the federal minimum wage is not indexed for inflation, its actual value decreases each year. However, with the least-productive Congress in recent history failing to act, it has fallen on workers and communities to push for change at the state and municipal level.

  • Edgar Delapp

    what about north carolina

    • jeb

      It means nothing for nc until federal minimum wage is raised

  • Belinda

    And??? This means nothing whatsoever…just like all the other minimum wage hikes we’ve had! Pretty soon they’ll be wantin more!

    • FlyingBluenotes

      Are you ignorant?? I’d like to see you try to support a family on 7 and a quarter which is a sad reality for many americans that most of you sheeple are too blind to see.

      • Belinda

        No I am not ignorant. As a matter of fact I am a single mother of two teenage boys. I am making 8.65 an hour…and thanks to obamacare my employer reduced my hours to 27. My take home pay is $160 a week…so I THINK I know how tough it is to make it….But thank you for judging my situation before u knew anything about it. I am not for increasing the minimum wage, ONCE AGAIN, because with an increase of wages comes a few “perks”. An even more decrease in my hours….increase in the cost of things such as food because they now have to pay their employees more, if they choose not to reduce their hours. And I have yet to see any wage increase do any good yet..history has proven this. From one sheeple to another…

        • FlyingBluenotes

          Where do you get your facts from?? Minimum wage has fallen well behind inflation… sure prices will go up but not drastically and with more earnings comes more spending power which not too many americans have right now.

  • activebz

    Wondering what MA is not on this list. Very expensive to live in Boston area….

    • Joel Wool

      http://raiseupma.org/ working on it! Ballot question in November and legislation filed

    • Doug Hall

      Echoing Joel. Importantly, MA also tackling paid sick days!

  • ej

    if i make $10 per hour in california, will it increase when minimum wage goes up in july 2014?
    ej

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