Jan 4, 2022 - Economy & Business

26 states will raise the minimum wage this year

Data: Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.; Map: Will Chase/Axios

The federal government isn’t moving on raising the minimum wage from $7.25 — but states and cities are.

The big picture: A total of 26 states are set to raise their minimum wage in 2022, according to an analysis by consulting firm Wolters Kluwer.

Why it matters: The battleground has largely moved from the federal level and is playing out in statehouses across the country.

  • At least 20 states have laws on the books preventing cities within their borders from instituting their own minimum wage hikes, Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., tells Axios.
  • Many of those states still hold the minimum wage near the rock-bottom federal level, which hasn't moved since 2009, she adds.

What to watch: With the federal mandate stagnant, companies themselves are also starting to establish minimum pay levels in an effort to improve recruitment and retention of quality employees, Kennedy says.

Go deeper: Record number of minimum wage increases set for 2022

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