On or after January 1, 2020, 21 states will increase heir minimum wage along with 26 cities and counties across the nation. Worker rights group National Employment Law Project says another 4 states along with 23 counties and cities will raise their minimum wage sometime in during 2020. Policy analyst for NELP, Yannet Lathrop says “This is the greatest number of states and localities ever to raise their wage floors, both in January and for the year as a whole.” According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wage increase will result in a pay increase for about 6.8 million employees with estimates for full time year-round workers ranging from $150 to $1,700.
Any worker in America remembers 2010 and the rise of the Fight for $15. Although the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for a decade and counting, marking the longest period in history without a an increase, I’ve always felt minimum wage is an issue best left to states and its municipalities. Also, I feel the federal baseline pay rate should be increased to ensure states have a baseline they cannot fall below. Seeing that not every state and locality are economic equals, states and localities should be more effective in creating livable wages for their citizens, than the federal government can be with a one size fits all plan.
Cities in California and Washington will see the highest minimum wage increases. Seattle for instance, will see its baseline pay increase to $16.39, and Sunnyvale and Mountain Valley, California will see an increase from $15.64 to $16.39. The highest percentage increase is in New Mexico, raising 20% from $7.50 to $9 an hour. Currently waiting for Senate debate is the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, which has already been passed by the House of Representatives. The RWA would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2025.