The Minimum Wage will Rise in half of the US states, but Employers are leading the charge in Raising Wages

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Fast-food workers have long been advocating for better pay starting in 2012. To welcome 2022, California’s largest businesses are now required to pay workers a starting wage of $15 per hour this January.

Even better, anti-poverty activists are pushing for more considering the state’s premium cost of living. Joe Sanberg, activist, and investor, is financing to gather the necessary number of signatures to get a ballot initiative for the November election. Sanberg aims to increase the state’s minimum wage to $18 an hour for all industries by the year 2026.

The minimum wage will rise in 26 states and the District of Columbia beginning this year. Only in California and parts of New York will the hourly rate of at least $15 be mandated.

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While states are taking this initiative, employers have taken the lead in this big overhaul of the wage system. Many workers will see substantial pay increases coming from the pockets of the business owners themselves.

A labor market that is overflowing with vacancies has pushed businesses such as banks, retailers, and fast food to increase wages in a desperate attempt to attract and retain staff. 2021 was the first year that the average salary of restaurant and supermarket workers hit above $15 per hour. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that wages and salaries have increased by 4.2% for the 12 months ending last September.

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However, other employers have long started this benchmark. Amazon, for example, paid its employees at least $15 hourly way back last 2018 and increased it to $18 for new hires in September of last year. Costco paid $17 hourly starting last October.

Hobby Lobby’s, a crafting retailer, full-time workers will earn at least $18.50 an hour starting this month. T-mobile followed suit as well and its 75,000-workforce gets to enjoy at least $20 an hour. Finally, the Bank of America has promised to give out $25 hourly wages by 2025.

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