Minimum Wage

2021 is considered as year of the workers in United States. The low wage workers gained significant bargaining power and it forced the employers to raise the wages.

This trend of rising wages does not pertain to few specific industries. Rather, employers across various sectors in United States have increased the wages. Twenty one states and thirty five cities and counties are set to raise their minimum wages on or about New Year’s Day. This is according to a report provided  by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a worker advocacy group. At the beginning of new year, more than 50 jurisdictions are scheduled to raise their minimum wage rates, many to $15 an hour or more.

A Long Time Demand is Fulfilled

The increases are due to increased cost of living and scheduled raises specified in local minimum wage laws. The lack of movement on the federal minimum wage over the last 12 years has led more states and localities to take matters into their own hands. Fight for $15 which is a labor backed campaign is advocating for higher pay for more than a decade. It is nothing but the post COVID challenge of labor shortage that has forced the employers to pay higher wages. Average wages increased by almost 5% in November. The increase was even more in few industries, like leisure and hospitality. Leisure and hospitality industry witnessed a wage hike almost 14% compared to a year ago.

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    Increase in Various States

    Base hourly pay will climb from $11 to $12 in Illinois and from $9.25 to $10.50 in Delaware. Similarly, the minimum hourly wage will increase from $9.50 to $11 in Virginia, from $12 to $13 in New Jersey. Hourly pay will rise from $10.50 to $11.50 in New Mexico. Some governments will act later in the year. According to NELP, a total of 25 states and 56 localities (a total of 81 jurisdictions) will lift pay floor sometime during 2022.

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