For several years, minimum wage workers have been rallying for higher pay and adequate wages by holding strikes and further demonstrations illustrating their demands. Thankfully, for many minimum wage workers, the start of 2018 signified not only a new year, but also a pay increase as well.
The federal minimum wage has remained the same at $7.25 per hour since 2009. However, as of today, 29 states now have laws mandating higher pay with 18 states having raised their minimum wage as of January 1.
Some states saw minor influxes, including Alaska, with a 4 cent increase, and Ohio, with a 15 cent increase, but others saw more significant shifts.
Maine moved a full dollar up for a current $10 minimum wage while Hawaii raised its minimum wage 85 cents and Colorado increased by 90 cents.
"Workers across the country are now starting to see the pay increases they’ve been winning through the Fight for $15," Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, said in a statement. "These big raises offer hope for workers and are inspiring more states and cities to push for big raises for workers at the bottom."
Wage increases such as this provide a much needed boost to the economy, specifically for POC and women. For the millions of workers employed by minimum wage jobs working in the food, retail or physical labor industries, this is an opportunity to gain closer proximity to an adequate living wage and better quality of life.
For a full list of states that just saw a minimum wage increase and to see minimum wages throughout the U.S., state-by-state, check out the Labor Law Center online.