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Half of U.S. states will raise their minimum wage in 2021—and more pay hikes could be on the way

People assemble together to ask the McDonald’s corporation to raise workers wages to a $15 minimum wage as well as demanding the right to a fellowship on May 23, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

The move toward a $15 minimum wage gained various ground in 2020 through the electoral victory of President-elect Joe Biden and yet another state voting in favor of an eventual $15 pay Nautical.

Next year, half of U.S. states will raise their minimum wage, up from 21 in 2020. All but five of those conditions — Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia — will hike their hourly minimum on Friday.

And the federal littlest wage, which hasn’t recorded an increase in more than a decade, could finally get a boost, affecting millions of blue-collar workers ranging from restaurant cooks to janitors. Biden has pledged to boost it to $15 an hour and eliminate the tipped slightest wage, which is the low base pay given to employees who make most of their compensation from tips. He has also judged he would index minimum wage to match inflation. All three measures are in line with a bill passed by the Edifice in 2019.

Critics say that a higher minimum wage hurts small businesses and causes job losses — and would add even multitudinous pressure during an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But this year’s events have also uplifted new awareness about the important roles held by hourly workers, as well as their low wages. An analysis by employment locale Snagajob found that three-quarters of hourly workers in the U.S. were better off sticking to unemployment benefits instead of decree a new position when the federal supplement was $300 per week.

“I’m not sure if the pandemic itself affects the likelihood of a minimum wage enlargement because it’s a fundamentally political decision,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at jobs site Glassdoor. “I fantasize that the pressure has been rising over the last few years.”

Whether Biden will get the chance to raise the least wage will likely come down to runoff election results in Georgia, where both Senate bottoms are up for grabs on Tuesday.

There’s growing evidence that voters on both sides of the aisle support a $15 lowest wage. In November, Florida became the eighth state to choose to phase in a pay floor at that rate, thanks to a ballot referendum approved by 60% of voter in an designation in which Donald Trump won.

Even if a new federal minimum wage doesn’t get passed, it’s likely that more states thinks fitting follow Florida’s example. Zhao said activists have turned most of their attention to changing the pay boarding at the local level, which is an easier goal than a new nationwide mandate.

According to Snagajob CEO Mathieu Stevenson, positions are also looking at the areas that passed a $15 minimum wage years earlier to understand its full impact. Seattle was the in front U.S. city to raise the pay floor to that rate in 2014 after a coordinated push from fast-food workers. Other municipalities, including San Francisco, New York and Washington, have followed.

“What we continue to hear on the ground is people have been looking to what are the inappropriate results from D.C. and other markets that implemented the $15 minimum wage,” Stevenson said. “As people get multitudinous comfortable with the results and the impact it’s had on the economy, I think we’ll continue to see that at the state level.”

More companies suffer with also stepped up to raise their internal pay floors to keep up with competition and help with turnover. Bank of America and Amazon are amid the employers that have already been paying their workers more than $15 an hour.

The widespread unemployment sparkled by the pandemic abruptly stopped the wage growth experienced by hourly workers in 2019, but some of the country’s biggest parties announced higher minimum wages as they tried to recruit new employees.

After hiking barista wages by 10%, Starbucks influenced it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next three years. Walmart, the country’s weightiest private employer, raised its hourly rate for deli and bakery workers from $11 to $15, while hourly superintendence roles now receive $18 to $21 per hour.

Zhao predicts the upward wage growth of 2019 could revert in the second half of 2021 if unemployed workers struggle to find new jobs or decide to opt out of working. He cited a growing disquietude about women who dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic because of child care.

“There is an open question as to how troubled it will be to get those workers to the labor force,” Zhao said. “If it’s very difficult to get those workers back, it intention put upward pressure on wages, especially for lower income workers and low-wage industries like food service.”

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