Economy

These States Are Raising the Minimum Wage in the New Year

January 7th 2017

By:
Lucy Tiven

As many as 4.4 million workers are getting raises in 2017, with 19 states set to increase the minimum wage, Yahoo News reported.

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Some of the increases are the result of ballot measures passed in November's election or are the work of state and local lawmakers. Other states are upping paychecks automatically, based on yearly indexing of the cost of living.

ATTN: mapped out which states are raising the minimum wage this January.

The lighter-colored states — Alaska, Florida, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota — are raising wages because of the cost of living.

states raising min wage in jan 2017 map

The highest minimum wage is in the District of Columbia, which raised its minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in a law that took effect in July 2016, The Washington Post reported. Massachusetts and Washington raised minimum wages to $11 an hour, the highest pay for minimum wage workers in any U.S. state. 

In Arizona, the minimum wage increased from $8.05 to $10, the largest of the Jan. 1 increases, The Wall Street Journal reported. Fifty-eight percent of the state's voters cast ballots to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020, a greater margin than President-elect Donald Trump won the state. (In late December, the state's Supreme Court ruled against the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which had attempted to block the raise from taking effect, arguing that the state couldn't afford to fund the ballot measure passed in the previous month's election, ABC 15 reported.)

Comparing paychecks.

On Statista's website, data journalist Niall McCarthy charted how state minimum wages compared and listed the states that pay a minimum wage higher than the federally mandated $7.25 per hour.

 

 19 U.S. States Raised The Minimum Wage This Week | Statista

Bills passed before 2017 will raise minimum wages in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Oregon on July 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The size of the July raise in D.C. will be based cost of living indexing. Maryland's minimum wage will go up to $9.25 per hour, and Oregon's to $10.25, Colorado NBC affiliate 9 News reported.

The debate over raising the minimum wage.

ATTN: has reported previously that opponents of raising the minimum wage argue that it will force companies to cut jobs, will increase the cost of goods, and will result in the replacement of workers with automated technology.

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But data have shown that this isn't necessarily the case.

Unemployment levels in Seattle — which controversially raised the minimum wage to $15 in 2014 — have reached an all-time low, according to a December post on the finance blog the Big Picture.

A more tempered analysis of the effects of the higher minimum wage — a study published by the University of Washington in July — found that it did not result in significant job losses or negatively affect the city's economy.