Raises from Coast to Coast in 2018: Workers in 18 States and 19 Cities and Counties Seeing Minimum Wage Increases on January 1

Twenty-One Additional Jurisdictions Are Raising Pay Later in the Year, and New Campaigns Are Underway in 17 More States and Cities

Workers across the country will receive badly needed raises on January 1st as states and cities from coast to coast implement minimum wage increases. Once they are fully phased in, 15 million workers will see long overdue raises—many to levels of $12 to $15 an hour.  And new campaigns are launching across the country to bring wage increases to more states and cities.

Here is a summary of what to expect in 2018:

  • Minimum wages will increase in 18 states and 19 cities on January 1. (Table 2)
    • In 13 cities, the minimum wage is already $12 or higher, including New York City with $13, Washington, D.C. with $12.50, and many California cities.
    • Several Silicon Valley cities, including Sunnyvale and Mountain View, will raise their minimum wages to $15 on January 1, joining Seattle and SeaTac, Washington. Later this year, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Emeryville, CA will join them with $15 minimum wages, and New York City will follow on December 31, 2018.
    • In a total of 6 states and 17 cities and counties, the increases will eventually reach $12 to $15 an hour once they are phased in over the next few years.
  • Later in 2018, 3 more states and 18 cities and counties will follow with more minimum wage increases, bringing the 2018 totals to 21 states and 35 cities [i] and counties. (Table 3)
  • By the time these multi-year minimum wage increases are fully phased in, 5 million workers will receive raises.
  • Campaigns to raise the minimum wage are underway in at least 17 more states and cities, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, and Nevada. (Table 1)

Campaigns for Minimum Wage Increases Are Expected in at Least 14 States and 3 Cities in 2018-2020

Campaigns to raise the minimum wage are underway in at least 14 states and 3 cities. All are pushing for wage increases of $12 to $15 an hour. (See Table 1.) Leading campaigns include:

  • Massachusetts, where the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition this month submitted over 139,000 signatures to put a $15 minimum wage before voters on the 2018 ballot[ii]—and similar legislation will be introduced in the legislature.
  • New Jersey, where Governor-Elect Phil Murphy has made a $15 minimum wage a top priority for his incoming administration.[iii]
  • Vermont, where state Senate President Tim Ashe recently announced that a $15 minimum wage is a “personal priority” for him in 2018.[iv]
  • Maryland, where, after Montgomery County approved the state’s first $15 minimum wage in November,[v] a campaign is underway for a statewide $15 increase.
  • Missouri, where, after the legislature reversed minimum wage increases in St. Louis and Kansas City, workers are campaigning to put a $12 minimum wage on the 2018 statewide ballot.[vi]
  • Illinois, where the legislature this year passed the first $15 state minimum wage in the Midwest, only to be blocked by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto.[vii]
  • Michigan where advocates are campaigning to place a $12 minimum wage for all workers, including tipped workers, on the 2018 ballot.[viii]
  • Nevada where, after Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a minimum wage increase, the legislature referred a $14 minimum wage increase to the state ballot. If it is passed a second time in 2019, it will go before voters in 2020.[ix]
  • St. Paul, MN, where, after Minneapolis approved the first $15 city minimum wage in the Midwest which takes effect on January 1, advocates are campaigning to expand it to St. Paul.[x]

Download the full report, below.

[i] Two cities (Milpitas, CA and Minneapolis, MN) will raise their minimum wages twice in 2018, but are counted only once in this total.

[ii]. Katie Johnston, “Signatures Submitted to Put $15 Minimum Wage, Paid Leave on Mass. Ballot,” Boston Globe, December 5, 2017.

[iii]. Elise Young, “New Jersey Governor-Elect Murphy Calls for $15 Minimum Wage,” Bloomberg, November 20, 2017.

[iv]. Peter Hirschfeld, “Senate President Tim Ashe Says $15 Minimum Wage a ‘Personal Priority’ for 2018,” VPR, November 28, 2017.

[v]. Rachel Siegel, “Montgomery County’s $15 Minimum Wage Bill Signed into Law,” Washington Post, November 13, 2017.

[vi]. Sarah Fenske, “New Ballot Initiative Aims to Raise Missouri’s Minimum Wage — to $12,” Riverfront Times, August 8, 2017.

[vii]. Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, “Rauner Vetoes Bill to Raise Illinois’ Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour,” Chicago Tribune, August 25, 2017.

[viii]. Kathleen Gray, “Michigan OKs $12 Minimum Wage Proposal Aimed at 2018 Ballot,” Detroit Free Press, September 19, 2017.

[ix]. Alison Noon, “Sandoval Axes Minimum Wage Proposal in Batch of Vetoes,” U.S. News & World Report, June 9, 2017.

[x]. Jessie van Berkel, “Minimum Wage Debate Takes Off in St. Paul, with Next Mayor Promising $15,” Star Tribune, November 25, 2017.

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