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New year, new minimum wage changes. Americans making minimum wage will have something extra to celebrate in the New Year. 19 states and 21 localities are raising their minimum wages on or around January 1, 2019, with some reaching $15 an hour.

The increases stem from scheduled cost-of-living adjustments or new policies to help lower-income workers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, increases in eight states are the result of automatic adjustments for inflation, increases in six states come from new minimum wage levels set by legislatures, and the remaining six are the result of ballot measures approved directly by voters in those states.

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the state increases alone could affect some 5.3 million workers in the country.

While 21 states still use the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, voters and state representatives are increasingly enacting their own policies to raise wages for millions of workers.

The 2019 minimum wage increases range from just five cents in Alaska to a full two dollars in New York City.

Employers large and small should take the time to go over these minimum wage increases for 2019 to see if they are meeting the requirements for their state and locality. This is essential for remaining compliant and minimizing risk.

2019 Minimum Wage Rates by State

The following 19 states enacted local minimum wage changes on January 1:

  • Alaska  $9.89 ($0.05 increase)
  • Arizona – $11 ($0.50 increase)
  • Arkansas – $9.25 ($0.75 increase)
  • California – $12 large employers; $11 small employers ($1 increase)
  • Colorado – $11.10 ($0.90 increase)
  • Delaware – $8.75, then $9.25 in October ($0.50 increase)
  • Florida – $8.46 ($0.21 increase)
  • Maine – $11 ($1 increase)
  • Massachusetts – $12 ($1 increase)
  • Minnesota – $9.86 large employers; $8.04 small employers ($0.21 increase)
  • Missouri – $8.60 ($0.75 increase)
  • Montana – $8.50 ($0.20 increase)
  • New Jersey – $8.85 ($0.25 increase)
  • New York* – $15 large employers in NYC; $13.50 small employers in NYC; $12 in Long Island and Westchester County; $11.10 everywhere else ($2 increase)
  • Ohio – $8.55 ($0.25 increase)
  • Rhode Island – $10.50 ($0.40 increase)
  • South Dakota – $9.10 ($0.25 increase)
  • Vermont – $10.78 ($0.27 increase)
  • Washington – $12 ($0.50 increase)

(*December 31 for New York)

All 2019 State and Local Minimum Wage Changes

In addition to state minimum wage changes, there are dozens of other city, county, or other local hourly minimum wage increases. For instance, 13 cities and counties have raised the minimum wage to $15 or more per hour.

View a chart of All January 2019 State and Local Minimum Wage Increases.

For more information, contact Resourcing Edge. Our HR specialists can assist employers with minimum wage and other workplace requirements.

More Minimum Wage Changes to Come

Keep in mind that there will be additional minimum wage changes throughout 2019.

Three states and 18 localities are slated to raise minimum wages later in 2019. One of the states, Delaware, will raise its wage floor in January and again in October.

In total, 21 states and 39 cities and counties will raise their minimum wages sometime in 2019 (some raised wages on December 31, the last day of 2018).

Fifteen dollar minimum wage campaigns are expected to continue at federal and state levels.

Is Your Business Prepared?

Minimum wage changes are a fact of life. Does your business have a plan?

Minimum wage changes will continue throughout 2019 and beyond. There’s no avoiding it, but there is a way to stay one step ahead by partnering with a Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO), such as Resourcing Edge.

In addition to monitoring and preparing for minimum wage changes that affect our clients, we also provide HR and payroll technology to simplify the process of managing the entire employee lifecycle, from recruiting and onboarding to benefits management and offboarding.

Remain current and compliant with all laws and ordinances that affect your business by contacting Resourcing Edge today.

Shellie Rich

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