The lowest wage workers in 18 states will get a boost in their paychecks starting on New Year's Day, as minimum wage hikes take effect.
Many of the wage hikes are phased-in steps toward an ultimately higher wage, the product of ballot initiatives pushed by unions and workers rights groups over the last few years.
The minimum wage in Washington state will rise to $11.50 an hour, up 50 cents and the highest statewide minimum in the nation. Over the next three years, the wage will rise to $13.50 an hour, thanks to a ballot measure approved by voters in 2016.
Mainers will see their minimum wages rise the most, from $9 an hour to $10 an hour, an 11 percent increase. Voters approved a ballot measure in 2016 that will eventually raise the wage to $12 an hour by 2020.
Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont will see their minimum wages increase by at least 50 cents an hour. Smaller increases take effect in Alaska, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota.
Several big cities will see significant increases in the minimum wage starting in the new year, a legacy, observers said, of the Fight for 15 campaign spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union in recent years.
California localities are especially likely to see big boosts: The lowest-paid workers in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, Calif., will get $2 an hour increases, to $15 an hour. Workers in Cupertino, El Cerrito, Los Altos, Palo Alto, San Jose and San Mateo will all see their wages rise to at least $13.50 an hour.
Minimum wages will jump to $15.64 in SeaTac, Wash., home of Seattle's international airport, and to $15.45 in Seattle. Wages are also set to rise in Minneapolis, Albuquerque, N.M., and Flagstaff, Ariz.https://archive.fo/tgH18