Although Congress did not move to raise minimum wage with the minimum wage worker strikes of 2013, some states have chosen to take action. According to US Today, 13 states have raised the minimum wage for 2014 with as many as 11 states and Washington, D.C. expected to also consider increases this year according to the National Employment Law Project.
On January 1, the minimum wage in these states increased to these amounts:
|STATE||NEW MINIMUM WAGE|
Currently, 19 states have a minimum wage set higher than the federal level of $7.25 per hour. With these raises, that number has increase to 21 states. With almost half of the states electing to have a minimum wage over the federal requirement, will congress feel the pressure to raise the national minimum wage requirement?
As expected, the increase is being met with mixed reviews. While some are celebrating, others are left with far too many questions.
With the “Fight for 15” strikes, in which minimum wage earners were requesting a hike to $15 per hour, it will be interesting to see if these increases, which are much lower than the request, will be met with appreciation or aggravation from the minimum wage earners.
Also to be seen will be the effect this will have on the state of the economy for the states that have chosen to give the raises.
Lastly, how many “working poor” will truly receive a boost from this increment? According to The Heritage Foundation, “Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau show that most minimum-wage earners are young, part-time workers and that relatively few of them live below the poverty line… A hike in the minimum wage primarily raises pay for suburban teenagers, not the working poor.” According to TIME, roughly 2.5 million low-income American workers will see their hourly wage increase. It is unknown at this time how many of those are minors, working while attending school and still living under their parents’ roof.
Minimum wage increase has been a hot topic here on MadWorldNews.com. Check out our opinion pieces on this controversial issue: