Economy

This Is the State Where Most People Benefit From $15 Minimum Wage

The efforts of some members of Congress to get a $15 minimum wage into the new stimulus package have failed. The argument that the threshold is important is it would lift millions of Americans out of poverty. The current minimum wage mandate by the federal government is $7.25, although it is much higher in a number of states.

The arguments against the plan often focus on its cost to small businesses and those that operate on slim margins. Participants on this side of the debate claim that a higher minimum wage would cause layoffs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that a $15 figure could cause 1.4 million layoffs between now and 2025.

The number of people affected by a $15 increase in the minimum wage varies from state to state. This is particularly true when it comes to percentages of workers in each state.

The Economic Policy Institute’s “Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would lift the pay of 32 million workers” research paper analyzed pay by state, unemployment rate, job type and effect on poverty levels. The foundation of the research was based on the “Raise the Wage Act of 2021,” which had five increases in the minimum wage between now and 2025 when it would reach the $15 threshold.

According to the report: “A level of $15 in 2025 would finally raise the living standards of the lowest-wage workers above levels those workers experienced 50 years ago.”

To get numbers by state, the EPI started with a national workforce figure of 151.7 million people in the United States. Of these, 22.1 million would be affected by an increase in the minimum wage to $15, a figure that equates to 21.2%.

Among the states, the one where the change would make the most difference is Mississippi. There, the percentage of the workforce affected would be 30.6%. 24/7 Wall St.’s own analysis of America’s richest and poorest states put Mississippi at the bottom.

This is the impact of increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2025:

State Workforce (Thousands) Directly Affected
U.S. total 151,716 14.50%
Alabama 2,030 26.20%
Alaska 347 16.50%
Arizona 3,089 16.90%
Arkansas 1,257 25.70%
California 19,142 0.00%
Colorado 2,748 11.10%
Connecticut 1,777 1.20%
Delaware 443 19.40%
District of Columbia 373 0.90%
Florida 9,128 22.10%
Georgia 4,654 23.20%
Hawaii 723 17.20%
Idaho 731 25.40%
Illinois 6,171 0.90%
Indiana 3,066 19.70%
Iowa 1,534 23.30%
Kansas 1,387 22.80%
Kentucky 1,883 26.20%
Louisiana 1,986 27.10%
Maine 621 13.70%
Maryland 3,048 1.80%
Massachusetts 3,507 0.70%
Michigan 4,441 19.80%
Minnesota 2,802 8.80%
Mississippi 1,207 30.60%
Missouri 2,780 21.50%
Montana 467 23.00%
Nebraska 956 20.40%
Nevada 1,413 21.00%
New Hampshire 689 14.70%
New Jersey 4,407 0.80%
New Mexico 931 28.20%
New York 9,437 4.80%
North Carolina 4,572 23.50%
North Dakota 380 16.70%
Ohio 5,367 22.30%
Oklahoma 1,731 27.20%
Oregon 1,864 6.90%
Pennsylvania 5,965 21.60%
Rhode Island 519 14.50%
South Carolina 2,175 24.90%
South Dakota 418 21.40%
Tennessee 2,979 21.20%
Texas 13,509 24.80%
Utah 1,402 23.20%
Vermont 303 15.10%
Virginia 4,074 14.80%
Washington 3,441 0.10%
West Virginia 715 26.40%
Wisconsin 2,854 20.50%
Wyoming 275 22.90%

Click here to see which are America’s richest and poorest states.