More than 80 Jurisdictions Raising Wages in 2022, But Activists Want More

California Activists Float $18-Per-Hour Despite Demonstrated Job Loss Caused by Wage Hikes
  • Publication Date: December 2021

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 22, 2021) – Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released its annual comprehensive guide to state and local minimum wage increases for the coming year. The chart shows 84 jurisdictions will raise their minimum wages in 2022, including 25 states, 58 cities and counties, and Puerto Rico.

View the full list here.

According to data collected by EPI, some of the highest state wages will be seen in California ($15 per hour), Washington ($14.49 per hour), and Massachusetts ($14.25 per hour). Many individual cities and counties are raising their minimum wage rates even higher than state mandates. Top local rates include Emeryville, CA (estimated to reach $17.64 per hour in July), SeaTac, WA ($17.54 per hour in January), and Seattle, WA ($17.27 per hour in January). More than 50 states and locales now raise their wages every year according to the Consumer Price Index.

Despite extensive evidence pointing to the detrimental effects of pushing for $15 minimum wages—including job lossreduced health care benefits and even business closures— advocates have begun laying the groundwork to set the target rate even higher. In California, some proponents are pushing for a statewide $18 per hour wage.

“We know the damage that sharply rising minimum wage mandates have caused prior to the pandemic,” said Michael Saltsman, Managing Director of the Employment Policies Institute. “Now, despite the track record of past harm, minimum wage advocates are instead moving the goal posts without assessing the extent of losses created by minimum wage hikes despite the hardship of the last two years.”