The new year will bring somewhat fatter paychecks to many Americans, with more than three dozen states and cities counties raising their minimum wage. The federal minimum wage remains unchanged at $7.25 per hour, where it has stayed since 2009. But many states and cities have raised their minimum hourly pay above the federal rate, including the 18 states and 19 cities that have set increases for 2018, according to a report by the National Employment Law Project.
In most of the 18 states hiking their minimum hourly rates today, the increases are the result of either legislation or recent voter-approved ballot measures, and range from 35 cents in Michigan to $1 in Maine, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Other states will have smaller automatic increases that adjust the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation.
About 4.5 million workers around the country will benefit from the wage increases taking effect early this year, the Economic Policy Institute says. The 10 states raising the minimum wage as a result of legislation or ballot measures are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, according to EPI.
The eight states increasing their minimum wage through automatic inflation adjustments are: Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota. Cities hiking the minimum hourly rate for workers range from several in California to New York City and Washington, D.C.