New Year Brings 43 New Wage Burdens For Small Biz, Employees

43 States and Localities will raise wages in the New Year
  • Publication Date: December 2018

Washington D.C. – Today, The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is highlighting the 43 minimum wage increases set to take place on either December 31st or January 1st. These increases include 20 states and 23 localities that will pose a threat to job opportunities and businesses across the nation. You can view the full list of increase in the below table.

California, in particular, has a state wide minimum wage increase to $12 along with 14 separate locality increases, 10 of which have reached or risen above $15 an hour. A study by economists from Miami and Trinity Universities found that when California’s statewide $15 minimum wage is fully phased-in in 2022, roughly 400,000 jobs will be lost. Researchers at Harvard Business School and Mathematica Policy Research also found that San Francisco’s $15 minimum wage law directly increased the rate of restaurant closures due to the rise in labor costs.

Minimum wage hikes lead to consequences such as reduced employee hours, lost jobs, or even business closures. EPI has chronicled the consequences of minimum wage increases at The site includes over 100 stories of job loss, reduced hours, and other consequences as a direct result of minimum wage increases.

These consequences should be highlighted as a Democratic controlled house pushes for further increases in the federal minimum wage. Read EPI’s managing director, Michael Saltsman, recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why a $15 federal minimum wage would be unprecedented.

EPI communications director, Samantha Summers, released the following statement:

“Business owners and employees will face a depressing New Year’s from the negative consequences of 43 wage hikes across the country. Overwhelming research shows that minimum wage increases continue to harm those it’s intended to help by eliminating jobs and forcing businesses to close.”