Minimum Wage Madness: 42 Different State and Local Wage Hikes Ring in the New Year

Mind-boggling patchwork of minimum wage increases; 14 different rates in New York State, 13 different increases in California
  • Publication Date: December 2016

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

Washington D.C. – Today the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is highlighting the 42 state and local minimum wage increases taking place on either December 31st or January 1st. Nineteen states are raising their starter wages on New Year’s Day, with Arizona (24 percent increase), Maine (20 percent), and Washington state (16 percent) having the dubious distinction of the largest increases. Twenty-three localities, including 12 cities in California, are also ringing in the New Year with starter wage increases. See the full table of New Year’s minimum wage increases below.

In New York State and California especially, a mind-boggling patchwork of minimum wage increases are taking place. In New York State, where starter wage increases are dependent on business size, location, and type, small businesses and their employees are facing 14 different government dictated wage rates taking effect on December 31st.  View a full table of New York State’s patchwork of wage increases, published by the New York State Restaurant Association, here.

In California, 12 different cities are increasing their minimum wage on New Year’s Day in addition to the state-level hike. Cupertino, Los Altos, and San Mateo, which are all raising their starter wages by 20 percent to $12 an hour. Mountain View and Sunnyvale are both raising their starter wages by 18 percent to $13 an hour.

EPI has been highlighting the consequences of such minimum wage increases – especially to small businesses and employees in New York and California — on its website Faces of $15.  Numerous news stories have documented businesses closing or leaving the state, reductions in job opportunities, and spikes in child care costs.

Recently, EPI released five mini-documentaries featuring the stories of these victims. These include an apparel company leaving California for Nevada; a top-100 restaurant in San Francisco forced to close down;a bookstore outside of Sacramento that shuttered after 20+ years in business; a childcare provider in Oakland who had to cut long-time staff members; and a diner in New York that closed after 40 years in business.

“Labor unions and their activist allies may be popping the champagne on New Year’s to celebrate minimum wage increases, but businesses and their employees are the ones that will feel the hangover effects of business closures, lost jobs, and reduced hours,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at EPI.

New Year’s Minimum Wage Increases
State Current MW  2017 MW Percent Increase
Alaska $               9.75  $            9.80 1%
Arizona $               8.05  $          10.00 24%
Arkansas $               8.00  $            8.50 6%
California¹ $             10.00  $          10.50 5%
Colorado $               8.31  $            9.30 12%
Connecticut $               9.60  $          10.10 5%
Florida $               8.05  $            8.10 1%
Hawaii $               8.50  $            9.25 9%
Maine $               7.50  $            9.00 20%
Massachusetts $             10.00  $          11.00 10%
Michigan $               8.50  $            8.90 5%
Missouri $               7.65  $            7.70 1%
Montana $               8.05  $            8.15 1%
New Jersey $               8.38  $            8.44 1%
Ohio $               8.10  $            8.15 1%
South Dakota $               8.55  $            8.65 1%
Vermont $               9.60  $          10.00 4%
Washington $               9.47  $          11.00 16%
New York² (12/31) $               9.00  $          9.85 9%
Cities/Counties Current MW  2017 MW Percent Increase
Albuquerque, New Mexico $               8.75  $            8.80 1%
Bernalillo, New Mexico $               8.65  $            8.70 1%
Cupertino, California $             10.00  $          12.00 20%
El Cerrito, California $             11.60  $          12.25 6%
Johnson County, Iowa $               9.15  $          10.10 10%
Las Cruces, New Mexico $               8.40  $            9.20 10%
Linn County, Iowa $               7.25  $            8.25 14%
Los Altos, California $             10.00  $          12.00 20%
Mountain View, California $             11.00  $          13.00 18%
New York City, NY³ $               9.00  $          10.75 19%
Oakland, California $             12.55  $          12.86 2%
Palo Alto, California $             11.00  $          12.00 9%
Portland, Maine $             10.10  $          10.68 6%
Richmond, California $             11.52  $          12.30 7%
San Diego, California $             10.50  $          11.50 10%
San Mateo, California $             10.00  $          12.00 20%
San Jose, California $             10.30  $          10.50 2%
Santa Clara, California $             11.00  $          11.10 1%
Seattle, Washington $             13.00  $          15.00 15%
SeaTac, Washington $             15.24  $          15.35 1%
Sunnyvale, California $             11.00  $          13.00 18%
Tacoma, Washington $             10.35  $          11.15 8%
Wapello County, Iowa $               7.25  $            8.20 13%
¹ 25 or fewer employees, remains at $10
² Different tiers, $9.85 is avg. of two non-NYC rates
³ $10.50 for small businesses, $11 for large, $12 for fast food
$11 to $15 depending on size/type of employer

 

For more information, visit EPIOnline.org. To schedule an interview, contact Jordan Bruneau at (202) 463-7650 or bruneau@epionline.org.

The Employment Policies Institute is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding employment growth. In particular, EPI focuses on issues that affect entry-level employment. EPI receives support from restaurants, foundations, and individuals.

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