After a year of consistently high inflation — the annual inflation rate has been over 7% every month for the past year — many Americans are looking for ways to combat the high prices.
That’s turned questions about minimum wage increases into breakout search terms on Google for the first week of 2023.
Are some states raising their minimum wages in 2023?
Ogletree Deakins, a law firm that specializes in labor and employment counsel
Yes, 26 states are expected to raise their minimum wages within the next year. The federal minimum wage, however, is remaining $7.25.
WHAT WE FOUND
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) said 23 states, plus Washington, D.C., raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1, 2023, as did 27 cities and counties. The hourly wage hikes ranged from $0.23 to $1.50.
In Michigan, the minimum wage increased by $0.23 from $9.87 to $10.10, although it could increase again to $13.03 in February depending on a court decision. Nebraska increased its minimum wage by $1.50, from $9.00 to $10.50.
Moving forward, EPI says 26 states and D.C. have minimum wage increases scheduled to take place within the next year. Many of these 26 states also increased their minimum wages on Jan. 1, but have recurring increases already scheduled.
EPI says D.C. and 30 states already have higher minimum wages than the federal minimum wage, which is the lowest rate that’s legally allowed nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Labor says the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and hasn’t changed since July 24, 2009.
The Department of Labor does not list any planned federal minimum wage increases on its website, and Ogletree Deakins, a law firm that specializes in labor and employment counsel, says the federal minimum wage will remain at its current rate, as will the lower federal tipped minimum wage.
But even if the federal minimum wage isn’t rising, many Americans will still see minimum wage increases where they live this year. That’s because states can set their own minimum wages, which will trump the federal minimum if the state’s minimum wage is higher. And some local governments can set their minimum wages even higher than their states’ minimums.
Changing the federal minimum wage requires Congress to pass a law, but some states can pass laws to make their own minimum wage automatically update based on inflation. Each year, the minimum wage in 19 states plus D.C. changes to reflect changes in inflation, EPI says on its minimum wage tracking page.
The current stretch without an increase in the federal minimum wage is the longest since it was first established in 1938, according to Labor Department records. This year will mark the 14th consecutive year without a minimum wage increase; before the current stretch, the longest length of time without a federal minimum wage increase was nearly 10 years between 1997 and 2007.
If you’d like to find out the minimum wage laws in your state or locality, or want to know if there is an upcoming wage hike in your state, then you should visit the EPI’s Minimum Wage Tracker, the Department of Labor’s page on state minimum wage laws or the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) state minimum wage chart.