11 States That Will Raise Wages in 2022:
Even though many of them have been frontline heroes ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started, retail workers, cleaning staff, and delivery people aren’t paid as much as they should be. These roles are minimum-wage jobs, meaning that they pay just $7.25 an hour in most of the states that follow the federal minimum salary.
And the thing is, it hasn’t budgeted even a bit since the summer of 2009, which is the longest stretch without an increase since its first appearance in the 1930s. Truth be told, it’s absolutely impossible to get by with such a small amount of money, not to mention you can’t possibly SAVE UP for anything. In 2022, things are changing, so here are the 11 states that are now on top of the list, offering the highest minimum wage:
- The minimum wage is $12 per hour
In 2019, the Illinois governor signed legislation that slowly increases the state’s minimum wage, until it will land at $15 an hour by 2025. For 2022, the minimum rate is currently $12 for most hourly workers, $7.20 for employees who are also receiving tips, and $9.25 for minors who work fewer than 650 hours a day.
For example, Chicago has already implemented the $15-an-hour minimum salary, for those employers with 21 or more workers. Smaller businesses are obliged to pay at least $14 an hour. Apart from the fact that they just got raises, these workers across the U.S. must be careful with their money.
- The minimum wage is $12.25 per hour
The smallest state in America gives its minimum-wage workers some big paychecks! And that’s not all, as the state has recently passed legislation that the minimum salary will further increase until it hits $15 by January 1, 2025.
For 2022, the rise in the minimum wage was from $11.50 to $12.25. According to Governor Dan McKee, this is a huge step in the effort to help Rhode Island families get out of poverty, but also to support essential workers who are risking their lives every day to keep the state running during the pandemic.
Plus, there’s another political stake: Rhode Island wants to stay in the game, and defeat its competitive neighbors, Connecticut and Massachusetts, so its leaders plan to raise the minimum salary even more.
- The minimum wage is $12.50 an hour
According to Federal Reserve data, the poorest workers have begun receiving annual New Year’s Day raises, given the fact that Maryland is the state with the HIGHEST median household income: $94,384 in 2020. Like many other states on the list, Maryland is raising the minimum wage gradually, up until the point it will arrive at $15 an hour.
Reports are showing that it should reach that level by 2025, under the bill that became law in 2019. For the moment, the minimum has increased from $11.75 to $12.50. But in some places, the raise has already been implemented. For example, in wealthy Montgomery County outside Washington, D.C., businesses that have at least 51 employees must pay at least $15 hourly.
- The minimum wage here is $12.55 per hour
Although its next-door neighbor New Hampshire has been stuck with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, Vermont has now lifted its rate, in order to keep up with the costs of living. Low-paid workers in the Green Mountain State got an 80-cent increase this year, a small adjustment from the previous minimum wage of $11.75 an hour.
This year’s raise impacted tipped employees, whose previous wages have been upped from $5.88 an hour to $6.28. Unfortunately, this conclusion came after a 2019 state study that showed how Vermont’s minimum wage wasn’t sufficient, not even for the basics.
For a working couple to have a decent life in the state, each partner needed to earn a minimum of $13.34 per hour, according to the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office reports.
- The minimum wage here is $12.56 per hour
The Centennial State’s minimum wage has been raised from 2021’s $12.32 to 2022’s $12.56. The good news is, you can earn even more if you live in Denver, taking advantage of a law that will let Colorado cities set their own minimums.
In the Mile High City, employers are obligated to pay at least $15.87 an hour in 2022. A year ago, Denver’s minimum wage jumped by nearly $2, from $12.85 to $14.77. Local officials can proudly say that they managed to go ahead with the scheduled increase, even though the pandemic came with some challenges for businesses.
According to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, they knew the economy would recover, so they didn’t want to leave the minimum-wage workers behind.
- The minimum wage is $12.75 per hour
Well, this place might sound like the paradise of minimum wage, as Oregon gets raises every summer under a 2016 law. The latest increase was applied last July 1 and took the state’s minimum $12.75 an hour, up from $12.
The final raise in the series is about to happen in 2022 and will require workers to be paid a minimum of $13.50 an hour. And from that point, Oregon will keep on making annual increases, depending on the inflation.
I know what you’re thinking. What’s the catch, right? Indeed, there is one: the state’s standard minimum wage applies in fewer than half of Oregon’s counties. While Portland metro has a higher rate than $12.75 (now $14 an hour), the rest of the state is considered “nonurban” and has a lower one ($12).
- The minimum wage is $12.75 per hour
In Maine, you’ll find more than 65 lighthouses, over 60,000 moose, and a lobster industry that’s worth $1.5 billion a year. The minimum wage has increased steadily from $7.50 an hour, where it sat in 2016. After annual raises on New Year’s Day of $1, Maine has now smaller increases each year, to keep in step with inflation.
For example, in 2022, the rate climbed from $12.15 an hour to $12.75. This cost of living will assure the workers more dignity and more money in their pockets, in order to support their families and spend in the local economy, as Matt Schlobohm, executive director of the Maine AFL-CIO, has stated.
- The minimum wage is $12.80 per hour
The Grand Canyon State has been constantly pushing up its minimum wage under a ballot measure voters agreed on in 2016. A New Year’s hike linked to the rising cost of living delivered a $12.80 minimum wage for 2022, up from $12.15 last year.
There is a local ballot initiative in 2016 that gave the city of Flagstaff, Arizona, its own minimum wage. There, the minimum wage was raised to $15.55 an hour with the arrival of 2022. If you haven’t been able to pull through the pandemic safely, you might have racked up a hefty amount of credit card debt. And, as you well know, those sky-high interest rates will make things worse over time, so try to consider rolling all your balances into one.
- The minimum wage is $13 per hour
In New Jersey, minimum-wage hikes aren’t a new thing. In fact, it’s part of the Jersey flavor, just like the state’s unique law that doesn’t let motorists pump their own gas. There’s a bill that the governor signed into law in early 2019 that requests for annual $1 raises every January, until 2024.
That’s the year when New Jersey will hit $15 for most of its workers. The latest increase was from $11 to $12 on January 1. The road to $15 per hour will mean a lot to the economy, uplift working families, make the state more affordable and provide fairness for future generations, according to Governor Phil Murphy.
- The minimum wage is $13 per hour
Connecticut is going strong towards a minimum wage of $15 an hour as well. The latest raise was last August 1, when the rate raised from $12 to $13 an hour. This year, it will hit $14 on July 1, then again in June 2023, when it’s supposed to raise up to $15.
Governor Ned Lamont and his fellow Democrats in the Connecticut legislature believe that a higher minimum wage will definitely make the state more appealing for workers and stop people from leaving it.
According to him, the nation’s economy grew for a long time, while the income of the lowest-earning workers has stayed the same, which made already existing pay disparities even more difficult to handle.
- The minimum wage is $13.20 per hour
In New York, there are subway fares, State Thruway tolls, and upstate snowfall totals that go up on a regular basis, so it’s only natural that the minimum wage must have regular increases too. And thanks to the New Year’s Eve raise, workers that are living here are earning a minimum of $13.20 an hour in 2022, up from $12.50 in 2021.
The state targets the level of $15-an-hour level, and some areas are going there faster than others. New York City already reached $15, and suburban Long Island and Westchester just joined. This is good news for all the citizens that are currently living in New York on the minimum wage!
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