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Minimum Wage Increasing for Millions of Americans

While the federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009, the reality for most Americans is the minimum wage in their state (30 to be exact) far exceeds that. In fact, as of January 1st, seven states and the District of Columbia will have a minimum wage of $15 or more.


In 2024, the minimum wage will increase in 22 states* and across dozens of cities and counties.  Most of these states will see the effect starting January 1st, but others like Nevada and Oregon, will have their increases as of July 1st, while Florida’s new minimum wage of $13 per hour will begin on September 30th.


As of January 1st, the states with the highest minimum wages will be Washington state, at $16.28 per hour, up from $15.74, and California, at $16 per hour, up from $15.50.


Why the change? 

The higher minimum wages are the result of either scheduled increases from bills that were passed in prior years or legislative actions taken in 2023.  Most increases are initially set at specific predetermined amounts (e.g. $12.00) and then are designed to increase for inflation through such measures as the Consumer Price Index.


City Specific Increases

In 2024, at least 40 cities and counties will be raising their minimum wages. 

Perhaps the most notable city is Tukwila, Washington, a bedroom community just 10 miles south of Seattle. As of January 1st, its new minimum wage will be $20.29, up from $18.99.   At $20.29 per hour, it now has the highest standard minimum wage in the country.


Other notable cities with high minimum wages include Seattle, Washington ($19.97); Mountain View, California ($18.85); Denver, Colorado ($18.29) and Portland, Maine ($15).


Industry Specific IncreasesEnter your email to sign up for the Wonder Theory newsletter.

Last year also brought the passage of several sector-specific minimum wages.  We can expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.  Examples of this sector specific change include:


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  • California (AB1228) – minimum wage increases for certain fast-food workers. Starting in April, workers at large fast-food chains must be paid at least $20 an hour.  This amount is subject to annual escalation through 2029.


  • New York City – new minimum wage for app-based restaurant delivery workers (UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash, etc.). The new minimum hourly rate is $17.96 (before tips!), with a scheduled increase to $19.96, in 2025.


  • California (SB 525) – minimum wage increases for certain healthcare workers effective June 1st. These workers will benefit from a new minimum wage of between $18 and $23 (depending on job type, and the size and type of employer).



Where Do We Go from Here


Raising the minimum wage and supporting unions has been at the top of President Biden’s to-do list for several years now.  While he has not been able to pass a new federal minimum wage, over half the states have increased their minimum wages since he took office and many cities and counties have followed suit. 


Given the gridlock in Washington, it is no wonder there has been no success in increasing the federal minimum wage.  However, we expect states and local municipalities to continue to take the lead for the foreseeable future.


Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest local, state, and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.



*States with new minimum wages for 2024


Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.