It’s been more than 14 years since President George W. Bush signed into law the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which incrementally raised the federal minimum hourly wage to $7.25 by the summer of 2009.
Since then, the government under both Democratic and Republican leaderships has avoided raising the national hourly wage floor — the longest period of time without an increase since a national minimum hourly wage was introduced in 1938. This despite the fact it takes about $9.35 in today’s dollars to match the spending power $7.25 had in 2009. (This is the number of poor full time workers the year you were born.)
But while the federal government has avoided increasing the national minimum hourly wage, many states and some high-cost cities have taken up the slack. Today, 30 states have wage floors that are higher than the federal standard, including 21 states that raised their minimum hourly wage rates on New Year’s Day, either through state legislative mandates or annual cost-of-living adjustments.
To find the 25 states that instituted, or that plan to institute, a minimum wage increase in 2022, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data compiled by human resources software company Paycor. We listed all 50 states along with their 2021 minimum wage and 2022 increases, if applicable. It is important to note that there are exceptions in some states regarding minimum wage increases related to several factors, including geography, the size of an employer, and additional benefits offered by employers.
We also considered additional data on 2020 unemployment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and median household income and poverty from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.
States like California, Connecticut, Arizona, and Florida now have significantly higher minimum hourly wages than the federal standard, but not all states are moving to pay workers above the federally mandated minimum. (These are the best paying large companies in America.)
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Georgia either have no state minimum wages or have state minimum wages below the federal standard. For many workers in those states, their only protection is the federal mandate that requires employers in those states to adhere to the $7.25 hourly minimum standard.
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