Record number of U.S. states set to raise minimum wage in 2022

Some 81 totally different states, cities, and counties will hike their minimum wage in 2022—a single-year file if we’re counting simply government-mandated pay will increase, the Nationwide Employment Legislation Mission says in a new report. But by the tip of the yr, solely two of these states and 47 cities and counties can have hit the $15-per-hour threshold that labor activists have been pushing for since 2012. It’s a reminder that even the place employees are seeing wages climb, the tempo is usually very, very gradual. (One anti-poverty activist in California, Joe Sanberg, just filed an $18-per-hour minimum wage poll initiative, arguing, “now we’ve got to transfer the ball ahead and farther.”) The federal minimum wage, $7.25, hasn’t modified since 2009.

Nonetheless, this wave of wage will increase is important:

  • On January 1, the minimum wage will enhance in 21 states plus 35 cities and counties. In two states (California and New York) and 31 native jurisdictions, the wage flooring might be $15 per hour for some or all employers, in accordance to the NELP.
  • This yr, President Joe Biden signed an government order requiring federal contractors to pay $15 per hour, and all federal companies can have to pay a $15 minimum wage beginning January 30.
  • Even Puerto Rico’s minimum wage will enhance, to $8.50, the primary enhance since 2009, when the U.S. authorities set the speed at $7.25.

California is the state to transfer to for those who’re after America’s highest beginning wage. The hourly fee is rising from $14 to $15 statewide at firms that make use of greater than 25 employees. Choose components of New York will even see minimums set at $15—New York Metropolis itself, together with Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. In the meantime, if you would like extra than $15, your relocation will want to be extra focused:


  • On January 1, the very best minimum wage in America might be obtainable in West Hollywood, the place resort employees in the tourist-heavy enclave of Los Angeles will see their hourly pay jump to $17.64. Relying on their employer’s measurement, non-hotel employees will earn both $15.50 or $15 (rising by midyear to $16.50 or $16).
  • The minimum wage will hit $16 to $17 per hour in a number of different California municipalities, together with Cupertino, Belmont, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Sunnyvale. The wage flooring in Denver and Seattle will even be north of $15.
  • The District of Columbia is elevating its wage flooring to $15.20 per hour.

Ten extra states are elevating their minimum wages to one thing quick of $15, although they’ve handed laws to ultimately attain that threshold:

  • By 2023: Connecticut and Massachusetts
  • By 2024: New Jersey
  • By 2025: Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Maryland (though only for employers with 15 or extra employees)
  • By 2026: Florida and Maryland (all remaining smaller employers)

This leaves almost 20 states the place the federal $7.25 minimum wage will nonetheless apply for all of 2022, in accordance to the Economic Policy Institute. The Division of Labor says that 5 states don’t have their very own minimum wage in any respect—South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Two others, Georgia and Wyoming, have a $5.15-per-hour wage flooring for employees exempt from the federal minimum wage (seasonal employees, farm employees, and residential well being aides), and their wages will certainly not enhance in 2022. That’s to say nothing of the federal tipped wage, which has been caught at $2.13 since 1991.

The state-by-state wage disparity places the onus on non-public employers to set their very own minimums, in many instances to attraction to employees in an more and more aggressive job market. Walmart, Chipotle, Costco, Wells Fargo, and Starbucks all introduced company wage hikes this yr to at the very least $15 per hour. A pair have even leapfrogged over the very best charges by regulation: In October, Costco elevated its beginning wage to $17 per hour for its 180,000 U.S. employees.