New minimum wage requirements will take effect in 20 states and almost two dozen cities around the start of the new year, affecting millions of workers.
It is a good start to the New Year for South Dakotans who work for minimum wage. To reflect the employers' concerns, the extra eight hours of paid rest given by large companies to their workers are excluded from the revised minimum wage calculations.
In Maine, the minimum wage increased to $11 from $10, while the minimum wage for tipped employees increased to $5.50 from $5. In 2020, it will increase again to $15 per hour. They said Seattle workers employed at low wages experienced a modest reduction in hours worked after the minimum wage increased, but nonetheless saw a net increase in average pretax earnings of $10 a week. The reason: Missouri's minimum wage is rising.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25, which was last raised in 2009. Those are Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico and West Virginia.
Advocates credit the trend toward higher minimum wages to the "Fight for $15", a national movement that has used protests and rallies to push for higher wages for workers in fast food, child care, airlines and other sectors.
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In another six states - Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri and Washington - voters took matters into their own hands, approving measures at the ballot box to raise the minimum wage, according to the nonprofit.
Some of the 2019 hikes are part of laws that require wages to increase progressively each year. In New York City, many businesses will have to pay at least $15 an hour as of Monday. Washington state lawmakers passed a law that boosts its minimum wage to $12 this year and $13.50 in 2020.
Both supporters and opponents of higher minimum wages have pointed to the Seattle studies. A number of studies that have tried to measure whether wage hikes are beneficial or harmful to the USA economy have come to conflicting conclusions.
"This is great news for Minnesota's lowest-wage workers and will help them keep up with inflation to better provide for themselves and their families", said Ken Peterson, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, in a news release. Opponents say the free market economy should determine hourly wages.
In addition to increases at the state level, some municipalities are also implementing pay hikes.
Across the country 20 states and almost two-dozen cities increased the minimum wage. New York City's new rate is more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.