New Year, New Wages: Minimum Wage Increases Across The U.S.

On January 1, 2018, 18 states and 19 cities across the United States increased minimum wages, more on deck.

Workers across the country received raises on January 1, 2018 as 18 states and 19 cities phase in minimum wage increases or adjust their wage floors to keep up with the cost of living. These include six states and 17 cities that are phasing in increases that will eventually reach $12 to $15 an hour (13 of them are already at that level for some or all workers).

minimum wage
Click image to enlarge. (Source: NELP)

Once the currently scheduled minimum wage increases are fully phased in, more than 15 million workers will have seen raises from coast to coast, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

As detailed in the new report, key facts about these New Year’s raises include the following:

  • Minimum wages increased in 18 states and 19 cities on January 1.
  • In six states and 17 cities, the increases will eventually reach $12 to $15 an hour – the new higher minimum wages that workers have been fighting for in recent years.
  • The minimum wage is already $12 or higher in 13 cities, including New York City with $13, Washington, DC with $12.50, and many California cities.
  • Several Silicon Valley cities will raise their minimum wages to $15 on January 1—including Sunnyvale and Mountain View—joining Seattle and SeaTac, WA. Later this year, San Francisco, Berkeley and Emeryville, CA will join them with $15 minimum wages, and New York City will follow on December 31, 2018.
  • Later in 2018, three more states and 18 and cities will follow with more minimum wage increases, bringing the 2018 totals to 21 states and 36 cities (two cities, Milpitas and Minneapolis, are raising their wages twice in 2018, but are counted only once in the total).
  • By the time multi-year minimum wage increases are fully phased in, 15.5 million workers will receive raises.
  • Campaigns to raise the wage are underway in at least 17 states and cities including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Nevada.

According to NELP, cost-of-living data show that workers will soon need $15 an hour or more to afford the basics in all 50 states.