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Business Costs & Regulation

How High Will Your State's Minimum Wage Be on January 1, 2017?

By the start of next year, 29 states and Washington, D.C., will have minimum wages higher than the federal level.

Wage inequality remains one of the hottest issues of the 2016 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, supports a federal minimum wage of $12 an hour; she has also shown support for local rates of $15 an hour. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has been less clear. During a November GOP primary debate, Trump said, “Wages [are] too high. We're not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it where it is.” In a Meet the Press interview last month, Trump showed support for an “increase of some magnitude,” although he argued that this increase should come from the states rather than federal legislation.

The federal minimum wage has remained the same since it was raised to $7.25 an hour in 2009. In lieu of federal action, many states have started to raise wages on their own. For instance, New York will gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, with large businesses in New York City reaching the benchmark by the end of 2018 and other jurisdictions reaching it on an indexed schedule beginning in 2021. California will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour as of January 1, 2022, for large employers and January 1, 2023, for small employers. Washington, D.C. will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour as of July 1, 2020. Hawaii, Maryland and Vermont all will have minimum wages higher than $10 an hour as of January 1, 2018.

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By the start of next year, 29 states and Washington, D.C., will have minimum wages higher than the federal level. In the infographic below, we compare minimum wages, as of 2017, across the states:

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