65 Cities, Counties, and States Will Raise Minimum Wages on January 1st—Most Reaching or Exceeding $15—With 25 Additional Jurisdictions Lifting Pay Later in 2024

In 2024, a near-record number of states and localities will increase their minimum wages. These increases are the result of underpaid workers organizing, demanding, and winning higher wages over the past decade. This worker movement has not only led to the adoption of higher state and local minimum wages—it has also helped seed new worker activism and mobilization across our economy and led to greater equity for workers of color.[1]

Summary of Wage Increases in 2024

On January 1, 2024, the minimum wage will increase in 22 states and 43 cities and counties. In 47 of those jurisdictions, the wage floor will reach or exceed $15 per hour for some or all employees, including 1 state and 26 localities where the wage floor will reach or exceed $17 per hour for some or all employers.

Later in 2024, 3 states and 22 local jurisdictions will likewise lift their wage floors—20 of them to $15 or more for some or all employers, including 15 localities which will reach or exceed a $17 minimum wage for some or all employers.

In total, 85 jurisdictions—25 states and 60 cities and counties—will raise their minimum wage floors by the end of 2024.[i] Of those 85 jurisdictions, 62 (7 states and 55 cities and counties) will meet or exceed a $15 minimum wage for some or all employees.

In total, 85 jurisdictions—25 states and 60 cities and counties—will raise their minimum wage floors by the end of 2024.

Below is a summary of what to expect:

  • On January 1st, wage floors will increase in 22 states and 43 cities and counties, for a total of 65 jurisdictions (Table 1).
    • In 6 states and 41 cities and counties, the minimum wage will reach or exceed $15 per hour for some or all employees.
      • In 27 of those jurisdictions (1 state and 26 localities), the wage floor will reach or exceed $17 per hour for some or all employees.
    • In 14 states and 36 cities and counties, the minimum wage will increase due to cost-of-living adjustments—including New Jersey, which is implementing step increases for small employers, and seasonal, agricultural, and long-term care workers, while adjusting the wage floor for large employers to reflect inflation; and Tukwila, WA, which has already reached its target wage for large employers and is adjusting it to the rate of inflation, while it continues to implement step increases for mid-size employers.
  • Later in 2024, 3 states and 22 cities and counties will follow with additional minimum wage increases, for a total of 25 jurisdictions (Table 2).
    • Among these jurisdictions are Howard County and Montgomery County, MD; Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN; and Tukwila, WA, which will raise their minimum wages twice (January 1st or July 1st, depending on the size of the employer).
    • In 1 state and 19 cities and counties, the minimum wage will reach or exceed $15 per hour for some or all employers.
      • In 15 of the local jurisdictions, the wage floor will reach or exceed $17 per hour.
    • In 1 state and 20 cities and counties, the minimum wage will increase due to cost-of-living adjustments—including Washington, DC, which will adjust its standard minimum wage to account for inflation while it continues to phase out its lower wage for tipped workers through step increases; Chicago, IL, which has already reached or exceed its target minimum wage of $15 for most employers and will adjust this rate to account for inflation in 2024, while continuing to phase in a $15 minimum wage for certain young workers; and St. Paul, MN which has already reached or exceed its target minimum wage of $15 for the largest employers and will adjust this rate to account for inflation in 2024, while continuing to phase in a $15 minimum wage for small-and micro-sized employers.
  • Six states and 53 cities and counties will have surpassed a $15 minimum wage for some or all employees by the end of 2024 (Table 3), including 1 state and 40 localities which will have reached or surpassed a $17 minimum wage.
  • Five states (Arkansas, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Virginia, and West Virginia) will not raise their minimum wages in 2024 but have wage floors above the federal minimum wage (Table 4).
  • Since 2012, a total of 13 states have adopted a path to a $15 (or higher) minimum wage: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. In addition, although Oregon and Washington State adopted wage floors with original target rates under $15, indexing provisions in the laws have boosted their wage floors above $15 for some or all workers in recent years.

 

Minimum Wage Victories in 2023 and a Look Forward to 2024

The movement for higher wages picked up momentum with important minimum wage victories in 2023 (see below); and this momentum is expected to continue in 2024.  Many of the recent victories and ongoing minimum wage campaigns call for significantly higher wage floors of $20 or above, and none call for less than $15—signaling the strength of the movement and a recognition that robust wage increases are needed especially in a post-pandemic, high inflation economic environment. Some of these campaigns are also demanding equal wages and treatment for all workers including those earning tips, signaling the increasing importance of equitable wage policies.

In 2023, workers won significant minimum wage victories in Maryland (an accelerated path to $15 affecting over 160,000 workers);[2] California (a $20 minimum wage for fast food workers[3] and the creation of a Fast Food Council to set wages and propose other labor standards for the industry,[4] and separately a $25 by 2026-2033 minimum wage for health care workers[5]); Edgewater, CO ($21.99 by 2028)[6]; Boulder County, CO ($25 by 2030 in unincorporated areas of the county);[7] and Chicago (one fair wage for tipped workers by 2028).[8]

It is likely that 2024 will deliver additional victories to underpaid workers. A number of ongoing ballot and legislative campaigns are expected to be decided next year, including:

  • Alaska: Ballot campaign for $15 by 2027 minimum wage, plus earned sick leave.[9] Status: Collecting signatures.
  • Arizona: Ballot campaign for cost-of-living adjustments plus $1 in 2025 and 2026, and one fair wage for tipped workers by 2027.[10] Status: Collecting signatures.
  • California: $18 by 2025-2026.[11] Status: Qualified for November 2024 ballot.
  • Massachusetts: Legislative campaign for $20 by 2027.[12] Status: In committee. Separate ballot campaign for one fair wage by 2029.[13] Status: Signatures filed with local registrars.
  • Michigan: Ballot campaign for $15 by 2027 and one fair wage by 2028.[14] Status: Lawsuit challenging decision of 2-2 party-line vote by Board of Canvassers to block initiative from appearing on 2024 ballot has been filed.[15] Separately, there is ongoing litigation challenging the “adopt and amend” tactic used in 2018 by a Republican legislature to gut a 2018 minimum wage petition that had gathered the required signatures.[16] Status: Latest decision appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.
  • Missouri: Ballot initiative for $15 by 2026, plus earned sick leave.[17] Status: Collecting signatures.
  • New York: Possible legislative campaign to strengthen the minimum wage deal that was struck in 2023. Status: Coalition weighing options. Separate legislative campaign for one fair wage by 2027 in New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, and by 2028 upstate.[18] Status: Bill introduced.
  • Ohio: $15 by 2028, and one fair wage by 2029.[19] Status: Collecting signatures.
  • Oklahoma: $15 by 2029.[20] Status: Collecting signatures.
  • Boulder County, CO: Legislative campaigns in cities within Boulder County are expected. Wage rates are TBD.[21] Status: Local legislators weighing options.
  • Montgomery County, MD: Legislative campaign for one fair wage by 2028. Status: Bill introduced. [22]
  • Prince George’s County, MD: Legislative campaign for one fair wage. Status: Bill introduction pending.[23]

 

Endnotes

[1]. Yannet Lathrop, Matthew D. Wilson, and T. Willian Lester, “Ten-Year Legacy of the Fight for $15 and a Union Movement: Reducing the Racial Wealth Gap and Generating Tens of Billions in Additional Economic Activity,” National Employment Law Project, November 2022, 2, https://s27147.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/Ten-Year-Legacy-of-the-Fight-for-15-and-a-Union-Movement-Reducing-the-Racial-Wealth-Gap-and-Generating-Tens-of-Billions-in-Additional-Economic-Activity-FINAL.pdf.

[2]. “Governor Moore Presides Over First Bill Signing, Dedicated to Ending Child Poverty in Maryland,” Office of the Governor of Maryland, press release, April 11, 2023,  https://governor.maryland.gov/news/press/pages/governor-moore-presides-over-first-bill-signing-dedicated-to-ending-child-poverty-in-maryland.aspx.

[3].“California Increases Minimum Wage, Protections for Fast-Food Workers,” Office of the Governor of California, press release, September 28, 2023, https://www.gov.ca.gov/2023/09/28/california-increases-minimum-wage-protections-for-fast-food-workers/.

[4]. Adam Beam, “New California Law Raises Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers to $20 per Hour, Among Nation’s Highest,” AP, September 28, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/california-minimum-wage-increase-fast-food-newsom-69c26b7f07f2647149c37677446cea30.

[5].See “Governor Signs Bill to Raise Wages for Health Care Workers,” California Medical Association, October 18, 2023, https://www.cmadocs.org/newsroom/news/view/ArticleId/50326/Governor-signs-bill-to-raise-wages-of-health-care-workers-160; Cal. Lab. Code § 1182.14; and Cal. Lab. Code § 1182.15.

[6].“Edgewater Minimum Wage,” City of Edgewater, updated August 21, 2023, https://envisionedgewaterco.com/edgewater-minimum-wage.

[7].Tamara Chuang, “What’s Working: Boulder County Adopts New Minimum Wage Starting in January,” The Colorado Sun, November 4, 2023, https://coloradosun.com/2023/11/04/boulder-county-new-minimum-wage-2024/.

[8].“One Fair Wage Ordinance Approved by City Council,” Office of the Mayor of Chicago, press release, October 6, 2023, https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2023/october/one-fair-wage-approved.html. See also Ordinance SO2023-0002995, https://chicago.councilmatic.org/legislation/o2023-0002995/.

[9].“Alaska Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave Initiative (2024),” Ballotpedia, accessed November 15, 2023, https://ballotpedia.org/Alaska_Minimum_Wage_Increase_and_Paid_Sick_Leave_Initiative_(2024).

[10].State of Arizona, Initiative Petition I-02-2024, https://azsos.gov/sites/default/files/I-02-2024_One_Fair_Wage_Act.pdf. Accessed November 15, 2023.

[11].“California $18 Minimum Wage Initiative (2024),” Ballotpedia, accessed November 15, 2023, https://ballotpedia.org/California_$18_Minimum_Wage_Initiative_(2024).

[12].Commonwealth of Massachusetts, H. 1935, 193rd General Court (2013),  https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/H1925.

[13].“Massachusetts Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees Initiative (2024),” Ballotpedia, accessed November 15, 2023, https://ballotpedia.org/Massachusetts_Minimum_Wage_for_Tipped_Employees_Initiative_(2024).

[14].“Michigan $15 Minimum Wage Initiative (2024),” Ballotpedia, accessed November 16, 2023, https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_$15_Minimum_Wage_Initiative_(2024).

[15].Ibid.

[16].“Michigan’s Top Court Takes Case Involving Minimum Wage, Petition Drive,” AP, June 21, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/michigan-supreme-court-minimum-wage-petition-drive-9e3cb56d0e02137aada9741a5a495efc.

[17].“Missouri Minimum Wage and Earned Paid Sick Time Initiative (2024),” Ballotpedia, accessed November 15, 2023, https://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Minimum_Wage_and_Earned_Paid_Sick_Time_Initiative_(2024).

[18].New York State Assembly, Bill A01710, https://nyassembly.gov/leg/?default_fld=&leg_video=&bn=A01710&term=2023&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Text=Y.

[19].“Ohio Minimum Wage Increase Initiative (2024),” Ballotpedia, accessed November 15, 2023, https://ballotpedia.org/Ohio_Minimum_Wage_Increase_Initiative_(2024).

[20].“Oklahoma Minimum Wage Increase Initiative (2024),” Ballotpedia, accessed November 15, 2023, https://ballotpedia.org/Oklahoma_Minimum_Wage_Increase_Initiative_(2024).

[21].Tamara Chuang, op. cit.

[22].Montgomery County, MD, Bill 35-23, https://apps.montgomerycountymd.gov/ccllims/BillDetailsPage?RecordId=2812. Accessed November 16, 2023.

[23].Amanda Michelle Gomez, “Montgomery County Introduces Bill To Phase Out Tipped Minimum Wage,” DCist, September 19, 2023, https://dcist.com/story/23/09/19/montgomery-county-introduces-bill-to-phase-out-tipped-minimum-wage/.

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