With the New Year just around the corner, a number of states will be implementing new minimum wage amounts for hourly workers. January 1 will usher in new wages as follows: Arizona to $10 per hour; Arkansas to $8.50; California to $10.50; Colorado to $9.30; Connecticut to $10.10; Hawaii to $9.25; Maine to $9.00; Massachusetts to $11.00; Michigan to $8.90; Vermont to $10.00, and the state of Washington to $11.00. Then there's New York, where the minimum wage rises to $11.00 on December 31, 2016. The minimum wage in another 7 states will rise (or fall) based on changes to the consumer price index. Those states include Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota. Still, other states will adjust their minimum wages at different times of the year.
Meanwhile, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) continues its fight for greater increases in minimum wage by pushing for more union-sponsored work stoppages. Just last month alone, fast-food workers and home and child-care workers rallied in cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York.
The liberal Economic Policy Institute says raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $12 would lift pay for 35 million workers, or 1 in 4 employees nationwide.
But the conservative-leaning, nonprofit Employment Policies Institute think tank continues to counter that minimum wage increases will result in lost jobs, reduced hours, and business closures.
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