Minimum Wage Went Up In 23 States, Here’s What You Should Know

Minimum wage is increasing in 23 states and in Washington DC and as such many states will increases that meet or exceed $15 per hour.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

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Minimum wage employees in 23 states and the District of Columbia received a pay raise for the New Year. According to the Economic Policy Institute, salaries will increase by more than $5 billion in total. Average annual raises for full-time workers will range from $150 in Michigan to $937 in Delaware. A further 27 cities and counties will also boost their minimum wages this January, adding to the number of people seeing more money in their bank accounts.

In Nebraska, voters decided to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 in increments of $1.50 per year. That brings the state to $10.50 an hour in 2023, NPR reports. Michigan saw the smallest increase of just $0.23, with a chance of a second increase that could boost minimum pay to $13.03. The District of Columbia decided to phase out its tipped minimum wage over the next few years to match its $16.10 per hour for employees.

“The measure’s success also comes four years after the passage of a nearly identical initiative and its subsequent overturn by the D.C. Council,” DCist’s Amanda Michelle Gomez told the publication. In Washington state, the minimum wage increased by $1.25 to $15.74 an hour, while the city of Seattle has raised pay for small and large employers by $0.75 and $1.42, respectively.

The minimum wage is expected to increase to approximately $13 an hour across New England in 2023. New Hampshire will maintain its pay at $7.25, a figure which has been in place for over a decade. The city council of Columbus, Ohio is also raising income for workers at companies receiving economic incentives from the city to $20 an hour, according to NPR.

The minimum wage increases will benefit people across the United States from rural and urban states. About 54.9% of the affected workers are 25 years old and older, of which 44.8% work full-time. While folks who only hold a high school diploma are the group most likely to be affected, 40.9% have some college experience. But most importantly, more than two million parents will get a raise.

That means about 5.7 million children will see an increase in earnings in their households in 2023, the Economic Policy Institute reports. The financial agency has long documented the importance of fair income and its impact on economic inequality. Due to long-standing discrimination and occupational segregation, women and people of color are the majority of minimum wage workers in America.

Additionally, several states across the country will experience a minimum wage increase because of the higher rate of inflation rate. And other states will continue to phase in increases passed through legislation, CNBC reports. The much-needed pay boost comes as President Joe Biden campaigned to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

In 2022, he signed an executive order increasing pay for all federal employees. But a nationwide change to $15 per hour would have to be approved by Congress. Speaking to CNBC, Kevin Werner of the Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute said, “As the gap between regular and federal minimum wage increases, it will be interesting to see if it will inspire more states to increase their pay or try and get boost momentum on the federal level.”