The future of the federal minimum wage rate is always a means of debate. It remains $7.25 per hour, with no real clear path forward, although many pundits expect it to eventually rise. For now, though, 2019 brought minimum wage hikes in more than a dozen states and cities. That includes more than 20 states where the lowest wage workers got a pay boost starting New Year’s Day.
Minimum wage changes
Arizona $10.50 ➡️$11 (tipped wage $7.50)
Arizona is on its way to $12 per hour by 2020 with a 50-cent increase to $11 this year. It’s going to go up another 50 cents in 2020.
Arkansas $8.50 ➡️ $9.25 (tipped wage $2.63)
Arkansas upped minimum wage from $8.50 per hour to $9.25.
California $11 ➡️ $12 (no tipped wage)
As you might expect, California underwent some nuanced changes. The current $11 per hour increased to $12 per hour, with the oft-mentioned $15 in sight for 2022.
Colorado $10.20 ➡️ $11.10 (tipped wage $7.18)
The Centennial State’s minimum wage increased from $9.30 per hour to $10.20 per hour in 2018. In 2019, the rise continues with a 90-cent increase to bring the minimum wage to $11.10. Next year the rate is expected to rise to $12 per hour.
Delaware $8.25 ➡️$8.75 (tipped wage $2.23)
The First State is increasing minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.25 over the next year. At the beginning of 2019, the rate increased by 50 cents to $8.75. The rate will increase another 50 cents towards the end of 2019 when the minimum wage reaches $9.25.
Maine $10 ➡️ $11 (tipped wage $5)
In 2017, the rate went from $9 per hour to $10, or an 11 percent increase. Voters have also approved a ballot measure to ensure that wage rates hit $12 per hour by 2020. It will be $11 per hour in 2019.
Massachusetts $11 ➡️$12
In June 2018, a bill was signed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker that would increase the minimum wage from $11 to $15 by 2023. Over the next five years the standard minimum rate will increase by 75 cents per year. The tipped wage will also increase over this time period. Beginning in 2019, the tipped wage increased to $4.35 and will see a 60-cent increase each year until it reaches $6.75 in 2023.
Missouri November 6 vote $7.85 ➡️$8.60 (tipped wage $3.93)
Missouri’s minimum wage was slightly higher than the federal rate in 2018. The rate increased by 75 cents in 2019. For the second year in a row, Missouri has increased minimum wage. Before the wage was raised in 2018, the last time Missouri increased the minimum wage was in 2013.
New York $10.40 ➡️$11.10 (tipped wage $7.50)
Like California, the Big Apple has some creative changes in store. In New York City, employers of 10 or fewer employees are required to pay $15 per hour, a $1.50 increase from 2018. Employers of 11 or more people upped the rate to $15 per hour from $13 per hour beginning on December 31, 2018. For the rest of the state, the minimum wage had a 70-cent increase bring the rate to $11.10. By the end of 2019, the rate will hit $11.80 and the following year the minimum wage will reach $12.50. The state is slowly making increases to get the minimum wage to $15.
Oregon $10.75 ➡️ $11.25 on July 1, 2019 (no tip credit)
In 2016, Oregon passed a bill that outlined a series of annual minimum wage increases from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2022. The minimum wage will increase from $10.75 to $11.25 on July 1, 2019. In the Portland metro area of the state the minimum wage will increase to $12.50 and non-urban counties throughout the state will increase the minimum wage to $11 at the beginning of July as well.
Washington $11.50 ➡️ $12 (no tip credit)
In 2016, a ballot measure approved by voters ensured that the wage will increase to $13.50 per hour over the next three years. This breaks down like this: $11.50 in 2018; $12 in 2019; $13.50 in 2020. In SeaTac, home to Seattle’s international airport, the minimum wage increased to $15.64 January 1.
In Seattle, the minimum wage “rises to $16.00 for large company or chains with more than 500 employees globally; $15.00 if you work at a smaller company or chain with 500 or fewer employees globally and do not receive tips or healthcare benefits from your employer; and/or $12.00 in wages and at least $15.00 an hour in minimum compensation if you work at a smaller company or chain with 500 or fewer employees globally (the minimum compensation is the sum of your wage, your tips, and the cost to your employer of providing healthcare benefits. You can't be paid less than $12.00 in wages, regardless of the amount of your tips or benefits),” according to Working Washington.
Washington D.C. $13.25 ➡️$14 on July 1, 2019 (tipped wage $3.89)
In accordance with the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016, D.C.’s minimum wage will continue to increase in 2019. The rate will go from $13.25 to $14 on July 1, 2019. The rate will continue to rise until the minimum wage hits $15 in 2020. Tipped workers are slated to make $5 an hour by 2020.
Alaska ($9.84 ➡️ $9.89), Florida ($8.25 ➡️$8.46), Minnesota ($9.65 ➡️$9.86), Montana ($8.30 ➡️$8.50), New Jersey ($8.60 ➡️$8.85), Vermont ($10.50 ➡️$10.78), Ohio ($8.30 ➡️$8.55), Rhode Island ($10.10 ➡️$10.50), Michigan ($9.25 ➡️$9.45), and South Dakota ($8.85 ➡️$9.10) are all increasing the rate by less than 50 cents.
Minimum wage rates in other states:
States with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and a federal tipped wage $2.13: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
The federal minimum wage rate has stayed at $7.25 since 2009. Most of these changes are thanks to legislation or recent voter-approved ballot measures. According to the Economic Policy Institute, about 4.5 million workers around the country will be affected by the increases.
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