Minimum wage to be raised in half of US states in 2021

Biden looking to boost figure to $15 an hour nationwide

Half of U.S. states will be raising the minimum wage in 2021 (Getty Images; iStock)
Half of U.S. states will be raising the minimum wage in 2021 (Getty Images; iStock)

After a challenging year for retailers and restaurants, many will have to up their workers’ pay in 2021.

Next year, half of U.S. states will raise their minimum wage, up from 21 states in 2020. Twenty of them — all but Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia — will hike their hourly minimum on Friday, according to CNBC.

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President-elect Joe Biden has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and eliminating the tipped wage, which is the base pay for employees who earn much of their compensation from gratuities. The federal tipped wage has been stuck at $2.13 for years. Additionally, Biden has said he would index the minimum wage to inflation.

The federal minimum wage hasn’t been increased in more than a decade, though the House passed a bill to do so in 2019. Opponents say an increase would do more harm than good, while supporters say evidence from state and city minimum-wage increases suggest otherwise.

“What we continue to hear on the ground is people have been looking to what are the early results from D.C. and other markets that implemented the $15 minimum wage,” Snagajob CEO Mathieu Stevenson told CNBC. “As people get more 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.”

Critics, however, note that raising minimum wages hurts small business owners and eliminates some jobs even as it lifts pay for others.

New York state lawmakers raised the non-tipped minimum wage to $15 an hour for New York City businesses with 11 or more employees at the end of 2018, and the rest of city employers at the end of 2019. Tomorrow it will rise by $1, to $14 an hour, in Long Island and Westchester, and to $12.50 from $11.80 in the rest of the state.

[CNBC] — Sasha Jones