Business

Many States to See Minimum Wage Increases

D.C. Leads the Nation

Nearly half of the U.S. population is expected to see an increase in statewide minimum wages in 2019, according to payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

A total of 22 states and the District of Columbia will raise the minimum wage in 2019, with 19 of those states already implementing increases on Jan. 1.

“While it isn’t unusual for there to be minimum wage rate increases in January, there is a growing trend to increase wages in response to calls for making sure the minimum wage is a living wage,” said Barbara O’Dell, Wolters Kluwer employment law analyst. “The incremental wage increases, including in California and Washington, which are moving minimum wages toward a final goal of $15 per hour, are an example of how states are trying to address this issue.”

Experts say the increases indicate a move toward ensuring a living wage for citizens across several states.

D.C. currently has the highest minimum wage at $13.25 per hour, followed by Massachusetts and Washington each at $12 per hour, the report says.

The District’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $14 on July 1. Under the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016, the minimum wage will reach $15 per hour by 2020. Wages for tipped workers will also increase, eventually reaching $5 per hour by 2020.

Starting in 2021 both wage rates will be adjusted based on inflation, the Wolters report said. A few states’ wages remain on the lower end of the spectrum, with some state minimums coming in below the federal wage rate, and others with a slower incremental increase.

“The lowest minimum wage rates are at $5.15 and they are in Georgia and Wyoming,” O’Dell said. “However, most employers and employees would be subject to the higher federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. In Michigan, although the wage is technically rising in 2019, the state recently passed legislation to slow the incremental increase over the next decade.”

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Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. E-mail: Swright@washingtoninformer.com Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid

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