The ringing in of the new year brought with it a raise in the minimum wage in more than 20 states and legislatures.
As cataloged by The Daily Caller, the minimum wage has officially gone up in the following states and legislatures:
- New Jersey
- Ohio, Oregon
- South Dakota
- District of Columbia
- New York
Most of the minimum wage increases were fairly moderate. In Florida, for instance, the minimum wage rose from $8.05 to $8.10. That amounts to about $100 extra per year for a full-time worker.
In Massachusetts, on the other hand, the wage rose from $10.00 to $11.00. That means a minimum wage worker in the state will earn an average of $2,000 more this year.
This is only just the beginning for many states, however, as wages are slated to slowly keep ticking up every year until they reach at least $15, if not higher. In California, for example, the wage will keep going up until it hits $15 per hour in 2022.
Business groups are not happy with this. The National Federation of Independent Business’ California branch slammed the $15 law as “reckless” in a press release earlier this year, as reported by The Sacramento Bee:
Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Association, predicted a $15 minimum wage would force some employers to compensate for higher labor costs by curtailing hours or cutting employees. He said business organizations like his did not play a part in negotiations.
“It feels to me like it’s a done deal,” Dombrowski said. “What can we do? If the governor wants it, the governor’s going to get it.”
Maybe, maybe not. Writing for Forbes, Tim Worstall noted that these unprecedented increases will at the very least allow us to “actually study what is going on,” so that in a few years we can “have a conclusive answer” about whether or not minimum wage increases do in fact harm the economy.
I might just be a pessimist, but I bet you $15 that these increases will do exactly THAT.