Minimum Wage Woes: 38 Different State and Local Wage Hikes Ring in the New Year
12 Local Increases in California Alone; Accumulating Evidence Shows Unintended Consequences Of These Hikes
Publication Date: January 2018
Topics: Minimum Wage
Washington D.C.–Today the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is highlighting the 38 state and local minimum wage increases occurring either December 31st or January 1st. Eighteen states and 20 localities are raising their minimum wages on New Year’s, with the largest percentage increases occurring in the California localities of Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale.
See the full table of New Year’s minimum wage increases below. (Unless otherwise noted, these are the rates for larger businesses.)
California has the most localities raising their minimum wages in the New Year, with 11 meeting or exceeding the $13 level, and Mountain View and Sunnyvale hitting $15. EPI recently released a new study by economists from Miami and Trinity Universities finding that California’s statewide $15 minimum wage will cost 400,000 jobs when fully phased-in in 2022. Read it here.
New York has a similar mind-boggling patchwork of wage hikes, with fourteen different applicable state wage rates depending on the type of employee, the size of the business, the industry of the business, and its location.
EPI has been chronicling the consequences of dramatic minimum wage increases at Facesof15.com. The site now includes over 100 stories of job loss, reduced hours, and other consequences as a direct result of minimum wage increases. The empirical evidence has also tracked the consequences of a rising minimum wage floor.
Researchers at Harvard Business School and Mathematica Policy Research looked at San Francisco’s $15 minimum wage and found restaurant closures associated with the increase in labor costs. In Seattle, a team of economists at the University of Washington found a reduction in employees’ work hours associated with Seattle’s rising minimum wage.
“Rather than celebrating New Year’s minimum wage increases, policymakers should recognize their inevitable hangover of fewer job opportunities for those who need them most,” said Michael Saltsman, managing director at EPI.
(The rates below generally represent top-line increases for large businesses. EPI has a more-detailed chart with each state’s individual wage law we can send upon request.)
|State||Current MW||New MW||Percent Increase|
|*14 different wage increases dependent on employee number, type of employee, industry, and location. NYC not counted in localities because it’s part of a state-wide increase.|
|Localities||Current MW||New MW||Percent Increase|
|1||Albuquerque, New Mexico||$8.80||$8.95||1.70%|
|2||Bernalillo County, New Mexico**||$8.70||$8.85||1.70%|
|4||El Cerrito, California||$12.25||$13.60||11.02%|
|6||Las Cruces, New Mexico***||$9.20||$9.45||2.72%|
|7||Los Altos, California||$12.00||$13.50||12.50%|
|10||Mountain View, California||$13.00||$15.00||15.38%|
|12||Palo Alto, California||$12.00||$13.50||12.50%|
|14||San Jose, California||$12.00||$13.50||12.50%|
|15||San Mateo, California||$12.00||$13.50||12.50%|
|16||Santa Clara, California||$11.10||$13.00||17.12%|
|** In a previous edition, Bernalillo, New Mexico was not included in the count.|
|***In a previous edition, Las Cruces was incorrectly stated as being in California, when it should be in New Mexico.|
The Employment Policies Institute is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding employment growth. In particular, EPI focuses on issues that affect entry-level employment. EPI receives support from restaurants, foundations, and individuals.