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2024 began with minimum wage increases in 22 states: What you need to know

The measure also was implemented in another 43 cities and towns throughout the country.


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In addition to marking the beginning of a new year, January 1, 2024, it also marked an increase in the minimum wage in 22 states across the country. Additionally, 43 other cities and towns also implemented this measure, in some cases exceeding $16 per hour.

While the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009, individual states can raise it depending on their jurisdiction.

The effects of these measures do not always go according to plan. For example, California recently announced a raise to $20 an hour for fast food workers, which did not sit well with Pizza Hut, a national restaurant chain headquartered in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Fortune.

Consequently, the company announced the "elimination of all delivery driver positions," which translates into dismissing these workers.

Although inflation slowed throughout 2023, its effects caused activists in 22 states to achieve increases in their respective minimum wages, making it illegal to work for less than what is now established in the following states.

Minimum wage by state

Washington: $16.28 per hour

California: $16 an hour

Connecticut: $15.69 per hour

New Jersey: $15.13 per hour

New York: 15 dollars an hour

Maryland: $15 an hour

Colorado : $14.42 per hour

Arizona: $14.35 per hour

Maine: $14.15 per hour

Illinois: $14 an hour

Hawaii: $14 an hour

Rhode Island: $14 an hour

Vermont: $13.67 per hour

Delaware: $13.45 per hour

Missouri: $12.30 per hour

Nebraska: $12 an hour

Alaska: $11.73 per hour

South Dakota: $11.20 per hour

Minnesota: $10.85 per hour

Ohio: $10.45 per hour

Michigan: $10.33 per hour

Montana: $10.3 per hour

What happens when the minimum wage is increased?

According to the Spanish economist Juan Ramón Rallo, who is also a teacher and author of several books, "the result when these types of policies are applied is quite different from what is intended," since "increasing the minimum wage can condemn workers to the worst possible scenario: unemployment."

In his explanation for Visualpolitik, he explained that the increase in the minimum wage harms those who have lower productivity in the market, such as young people or those who offer certain types of lower productivity services, given that they are more likely to be fired in these scenarios.

"Raising the minimum wage is the quintessential proposal of populist politicians, and a way by which the majority of the population is deceived and harmed, particularly the poorest," Rallo said.