Minimum Wage to Rise in 13 States, Including Ohio

(Photo Credit: MGN Online)

(Photo Credit: MGN Online)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Starting January 1, minimum wage workers in 13 states and four cities will see higher paychecks.

While most of the increases amount to less than 15 cents per hour, workers in places like New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island will see a bigger bump.

Earlier this year, New Jersey residents voted to raise the state’s minimum wage by $1 to $8.25 per hour. And lawmakers voted to hike the wage by between 25 cents and 75 cents per hour, to $8.70 in Connecticut and $8 in Rhode Island and New York.

Residents in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington will see a higher wage floor due to annual cost of living adjustments.

The Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, used Census data to estimate that the increases will boost the incomes of 2.5 million low-wage American workers next year.

Currently, 19 states have minimum wages set higher than the federal level of $7.25 per hour. Once the changes take effect on Jan. 1, the number rises to 21.

Wage increases are also set to take place at the local level. Voters recently approved a raise to $15 per hour for many workers in SeaTac, a tiny town centered around the Seattle-Tacoma airport in Washington. A judge ruled this past week that parts of the measure were not valid: The city could impose the minimum wage for some of the affected workers, the judge said, though not all. Supporters of the increase plan to appeal.

The push for $15 an hour could soon move beyond the one small town. Seattle’s mayor-elect has said he plans to also raise the city’s minimum wage to $15. Washington currently has the highest state minimum wage at $9.19 per hour.

Workers in San Francisco, San Jose and Albuquerque will also see wages go up.

Later in 2014, several other locales, including two counties in Maryland and Washington D.C., will raise their minimum wages. California is set to raise its minimum wage to $9 in July.

The piecemeal increases at the local level are occurring amidst a national debate over low wages and income inequality. Fast food and retail workers have been staging protests and walking off work for more than a year, calling for better pay and more hours.

Currently, fast food workers nationally earn an average of about $9 per hour. In September, Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S., said that less than half of the company’s U.S. employees make more than $25,000 per year.

Workers from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and other fast food joints are calling for $15 per hour. Wal-Mart workers organizing as part of the union-backed OUR Walmart aren’t asking for a specific dollar amount increase, but they say it’s impossible to live on the wages they currently receive.

The workers have the backing of some lawmakers in Washington. Senate Democrats have proposed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation.

President Obama has been throwing his weight behind the issue. Earlier this month, the President said in a speech that it’s “well past the time to raise the minimum wage that in real terms right now is below where it was when Harry Truman was in office.”

But such legislation has a bleaker outlook if it reaches the Republican-led House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner has said that raising the minimum wage leads to a pullback in hiring.

Several recent polls, however, show that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of a federal minimum wage hike. A new ABC/Washington Post poll out last week shows that two-thirds of Americans support raising the minimum wage. More than one-third of respondents said they supported an increase to $9 per hour, while a quarter more were in favor of a boost to $10.

27 comments

  • Sue Cox

    My first job was decades ago in college, where I was paid 75 cents an hour to wash dishes and bus tables in our dorm cafeteria. At that time people such as my self were working to help with school, and personal expenses. Those days are long gone. Today you have people who are working at fast food, the local 5 and 10, and so on for $7.25 an hour. These people are trying to feed their families, keep food on the table, utilities on, and put their children through school up to and including college. Minimum wage in ALL states should be raised to at least $15.00 if not higher. I also know from past experience when the minimum wage goes up, the work hours will be cut.

    • Robot1

      If minimum wage becomes $15, all fast food will be out of a job because owners will automate the whole process. Touch screen (or voice recognition) at the drive thru, auto payment, and automated food production. good luck!

      • Barack

        Applebee’s and other chain restaurants are already setting up iPad like devices for ordering food which wil allow them to downsize the number of servers needed.

        At $15 an hour, there will be a lot more automation and elimination of minimum wage jobs.

    • acoach

      The only thing increasing Minimum wage is fueling inflation. The burgers can’t get smaller so machines or increased prices MUST occur

  • Deborah

    Some people need to do math. Fine for raising the minimum “rage” but look at that and that is before the taxes are taken out. $15 gross hourly, then take the hours you worked and divide it by the wage that will give you an idea of how much your ‘true houry’ wage is. Adds up?? Not really. It is all taxes folks!! Sorry to break it to you gently…

    • Tired of IDIOTS!!!

      Sorry Tricia, no more $1 cheeseburgers for you!!! you are probably just an overweight greed monger that just worries about how to scuffle down a dozen of cheap burgers at the expense of others! Makes me sick how people that do make a good living criticize those that are less fortunate who do have to work at McDonalds…etc….but are the first one’s in line for that cheap burger!

      • Bmrc

        I am educated and have a “good” job but I don’t even make $15 an hour. I am a single mother working my behind off trying to make ends meet. People need to be educated and try to learn new skills; not call on the government to raise minimum wage to a rediculous amount. There’s not much skill in flipping a burger or dropping a batch of fries into a fryer. And stop with the insults! I know many don’t have any job skills to go out and better themselves but they are also not entitled to more money without a proper education. This is what’s wrong with people and our country today. There are too many people sticking out their hand for free stuff and not enough learning job skills. I know not everyone can afford a proper education but counties (local governemtn offices) have job training seminars and programs to help people get better paying jobs. Do you realize how many factory workers, landscapers, office personel, teachers for that matter are going to be highly upset with this huge hike in minimum wage??? Plus, fast food joints will either go automated or hike the prices of their over priced crud they call food. This doesn’t mean I sit on my couch chomping on burgers and fries but I, probably like many Americans like to eat a cruddy burger and fries sometimes. How much do you make an hour Mr/Mrs Tired of Idiots??? Are you looking forward to the boost in your pay?

  • AngelWings Mia

    Really does not help single parents… and the fact that there are high overheads in the stores which causes prices to go up even more. Look also at the gas the stores have to pay truckers for brining in products to the stores also. I can go on and on however I will take up more of your time and you may just get frustrated and just close the web site out. Just the same vicious cycle going on here people. Research yourselves it all adds up to being were all going to be in the same predicament 10 years from now. Nothing will change for the better till our Government puts a stop to all the increases going on with rent, food, clothing, insurance hikes, electric, gas hikes etc. Need to have more regulation here. People cannot really afford to pay high rent even with a place to live and be able to keep food on the table pay their utilities etc. It all boils down to American’s have to put a stop to the government fattening up their wallets like they are doing and make them start doing what and should be right to all American Citizens. Stop offering companies to come back to American soil with the tax incentives also its just not working when they know they can get cheaper workers over seas just don’t buy from over seas no more and start investing in the American people with their dreams to produce more businesses. It is just that Simple!!!

  • Lynn

    $15 per hr is WAY to much for fast food, or any unskilled workers!! No way should you be making $15 flipping burgers and making fries!

  • Lisa

    I think this is great and horrible at the same time. Great people can make more and have a chance at being able to better support their self, but me I get screwed. I have a BA and a Masters, I have worked in my field for 11 years, I make $12.50 an hour (which is about average for my career) and I am not going to be getting a raise with this- the gap will continue to close between myself and other employees who do not have the education (read debt) and experience I have. How is this fair to others who are making slightly over the minimum wage???

  • steve more

    This is a horrible idea. Nobody working at a fast food place should be making $15 an hour especially when many have went to school to have a career and make that. They wont give people with a career a pay raise to even it out. People that are protesting for a higher hourly wage should realize that people have actually worked to get where they are in life.

  • Leigh Smallfield

    This minimum wage increase is ridiculous! Hasn’t anyone paid attention to economics? This creates a ripple effect, spreading increases from minimum wage to products sold–guarantee groceries, gas and utilities will definitely rise. These people whining broke will still be whining. Learn to live within your means. People like myself who have spent YEARS working hard and building a better income from what we made during our fast food/retail days aren’t afforded the same in our current jobs. How is this fair? Majority of fast food workers are supporting families because they CHOSE to reproduce on a minimum wage income. They WANT the ability to enjoy entertainment every weekend, to own new TVs, and material items that these become more important than paying their bills. I didn’t have cable for YEARS. We rarely went out for dinner or movies. I was a single mom for two children for 10 years, I cut costs and lived within my means. Why is this so difficult for others? Society has given way to the prideful ignorance of those who chose their minimum wage career paths over applying themselves and getting a better job. Our government encourages inflation because without people changing, living within their means, the mass numbers will still rely on the assistance programs. Wake up, admit responsibility and take control of your situation. Stop relying on government to change your situation especially if you’re unwilling to change it yourself.

  • kathie

    I feel sorry for the people who relied on those minimum wage jobs — there will be FAR fewer jobs now — there is a limit to what employers can pay. So short-sighted.

  • Todd

    this will only raise the cost of living and it don’t make sense to get more wages when it does this if they lowered the cost of living people would be able to work for less money but there are to many geedy people in this country for that to happen.

  • Can't Believeit

    If I had my BA and Masters and only made $12.50 an hour, I would shoot myself. My best friends husband didn’t finish high school (although an incredible welder) and he makes $19.00 per hour. I think too many people settle. I’ll be a welder before I get my BA and Masters if I am only going to make $12.50 an hour.

    • Barack

      Colleges still need to graduate liberal arts degree people to balance out the high paying IT and Engineering degrees..

  • RC don't hate

    So you have been on the job 5 years making 9.00 and hr. so does that mean if someone just comes in is going to make the same as you do. Not fair at all. Then everyone should get a pay raise, so that the other workers that have been there awhile can make a little more than the guy that comes in. My thought is that if min. wage goes up it is because your health care is going up. Think about it.

  • April

    It don’t matter if minimum wage goes up because everything else is going to go up with it to be able to pay everyone as well as make a profit for their business or pockets. I have been working for 8 years at the same company and have only made a $2.10 raise, what I make is not enough to make a living and to get off welfare especially when there are single parents are here, such as myself with two kids or more. Raise pay lower cost will not happen but in your dream. This all sounds nice for higher pay just to pay bills as long as prices of bills don’t go up.

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