Jul 5, 2023 - Economy

The places where minimum wages are rising this summer

Difference between <span style="background:#00c46b; padding:3px 5px;color:white;">actual</span> and <span style="background:#898989; padding:3px 5px;color:white;">inflation adjusted</span> U.S. federal minimum wage
Data: FRED; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Three states and 16 localities raised their minimum wage this summer, many of them through automatic inflation adjustments, the Economic Policy Institute notes in a new report.

Why it matters: Boosting the wage floor has the downstream effect of raising pay for those who make more than the minimum — as employers have to adjust their wage ladders upward.

By the numbers: On the first of July, Oregon raised its minimum by 70 cents to $14.20 as part of an automatic inflation adjustment. Portland's minimum wage is $1.25 higher, by law, and went up to $15.45.

  • Washington, D.C.'s minimum wage also got an inflation adjustment, rising to $17 — an increase of 90 cents.
  • Nevada went to $11.25, from $10.50, per legislation.
  • Connecticut's minimum wage went up by one dollar on June 1 to $15.00.
  • Inflation adjustments also happened in 12 locales in California including San Francisco ($18.07), Los Angeles ($16.78), and West Hollywood ($19.08), which now has the highest minimum wage in the country.
  • Chicago and Montgomery County, Maryland, also inflation-adjusted their minimum wages.

Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour hasn't changed since 2009; if it had been adjusted for inflation since then, it would be up to $10.24 (see chart above).

  • More than 10 states use the federal minimum, per a count from the Labor Department, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.
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