20 states to raise minimum wages by New Year’s Day

20 states to raise minimum wages by New Year’s Day
The raises are part of previously scheduled efforts to adjust for cost-of-living gains or to ratchet up toward goals like $15 an hour minimum pay. Some of them are by a dollar or more, but others are mere pennies. (Source: Gray News)

(CNN) - As 2020 comes to a close and 2021 begins, many low-wage workers across the United States are getting a pay bump, as 20 states raise their minimum wage rates by Jan. 1.

The raises are part of previously scheduled efforts to adjust for cost-of-living gains or to ratchet up toward goals like $15 an hour minimum pay. Some of them are by a dollar or more, but others are mere pennies.

In New Mexico, the minimum wage will increase from the current $9 an hour wage to $10.50. The minimum hourly wage in New York state will increase 70 cents to $12.50 an hour. In California, the rate for employers with 26 workers or more will rise from $13 to $14 an hour, the highest state-wide baseline in the country, but in Minnesota, the gain is just 8 cents to a $10.08 hourly rate for large employers.

Nevertheless, the wage boosts come at a much-needed time for many Americans, especially for lower wage workers that have been hit particularly hard by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some lawmakers and business organizations, however, have called for a pause on the scheduled minimum wage hikes, citing the burden on small businesses that are already struggling.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour hasn’t changed since 2009. Twenty states will still have a minimum wage either equal to or below the federal level.

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