19 States Have Raised Their Minimum Wage

On Jan. 1, 19 states and 21 cities and counties gave their workers a raise, with some jacking up their minimum wage to as high as $15 an hour, according to a report from the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit that fights for higher wages and better protections for low-wage workers.

The 19 states increasing the minimum wage are: Alaska (the minimum wage has risen to $9.89 an hour); Arizona (now $11 an hour); Arkansas ($9.25 an hour); California ($12 an hour for large employers, $11 an hour for small employers); Colorado ($11.10 an hour); Delaware ($8.75 an hour, with an increase to $9.25 in October); Florida ($8.46 an hour); Maine ($11 an hour); Massachusetts ($12 an hour); Minnesota ($9.86 an hour for large employers, $8.04 an hour for small employers); Missouri ($8.60 an hour); Montana ($8.50 an hour); New Jersey ($8.85 an hour); New York ($15 an hour for large businesses in New York City, $13.50 an hour for small businesses in New York City, $12 an hour for Long Island and Westchester County, and $11.10 an hour for upstate); Ohio ($8.55 an hour); Rhode Island ($10.50 an hour); South Dakota ($9.10 an hour); Vermont ($10.78 an hour); and Washington ($12 an hour).

The cities and counties are Flagstaff, Ariz; 14 jurisdictions in California; three in New Mexico; and three in Washington. Thirteen of those cities and jurisdictions are raising their minimum wage to $15 or more, which more than doubles the current federal number.

And there’s more to come: Later this year, 21 more jurisdictions will institute additional raises, and Nevada plans to consider whether to raise its minimum wage.

The federal minimum wage remains $7.25 an hour, which 21 states currently abide by, although 29 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages that top that. The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised since July 2009.

To check the minimum wage in your state, see this table.

Last year, a number of states also raised their minimum wage.

(Image from Anna Waters/Flickr)

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JCK News Director