New wage increase legislation went into effect on January 1 in 14 states.
Photo via Flickr user Bob Simpson
The year 2015 saw the rise of the Fight for $15 movement, a series of protests and demonstrations aimed at raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. While the federal minimum wage remains a paltry $7.25 an hour, minimum wage increases in many states and around the country went into full effect once the clock hit midnight on New Year’s Eve. As of 2016, California’s wage rises from $9 to $10; the same goes for Massachusetts. Arkansas increased the wage from $7.50 to a round $8 an hour. In all, 14 states began the new year implementing wage increases.
Some states, like Michigan, have staggered minimum wage increases over the course of several years, reaching $9.25 by 2018. Similarly, the city of Los Angeles will have a $15 minimum wage by 2020, with the 2016 wage increasing from $9 to $10.15 an hour.
According to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research—titled “The Minimum Wage Is Too Damn Low”—if the federal minimum wage were readjusted for inflation and productivity growth, it would have reached $21.72 in 2012.