Ohio, New York See Minimum Wage Increases; Pennsylvania's Remains Unchanged

Ohio, New York See Minimum Wage Increases; Pennsylvania's Remains Unchanged

Hourly workers in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington state will see the minimum wage increase on or soon after January 1. In Georgia and Wyoming, the minimum wage is lower than the federal level at $5.15 an hour, and five states do not require a minimum wage by law, according to the Department of Labor. At least 13 counties and cities will notice the difference immediately on January 1, reaching or exceeding $15 an hour.

In a statement released last week, NELP executive director Christine Owens praised the increases, which she said were needed for hardworking Americans who "have little to show for it". The state wage hikes range from an extra nickel per hour in Alaska to a $1-an-hour bump in Maine, Massachusetts and for California employers with more than 25 workers. "It's just not right". They said the higher minimum wage led to a 6.9 percent decline in the hours worked for those earning under $19 an hour, resulting in a net reduction in paychecks. In Michigan, legislators this year passed a wage increase before it was slated to go on the ballot in November, then, after the election, passed laws reducing the wage increases.

Both supporters and opponents of higher minimum wages have pointed to the Seattle studies.

More news: Prosecutors Think Fiancé of Missing Colorado Mom Had Help in Alleged Murder

Florida voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment establishing a state minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage. In some cases, these represent a step along the way to a planned eventual minimum wage of $15.

The increase takes effect Tuesday and makes the minimum $9.45, up from $9.25.

"It may not have motivated every lawmaker to agree that we should go to $15", David Cooper, senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, told the Associated Press. The federal wage has been the same since 2009. The government said it would give a six-month grace period to companies to change the wage structure.

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