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Minimum wage increases in 19 states

Minimum Wages

The minimum wage increased in 19 states Jan. 1, directly affecting an estimated 5.3 million workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The boosts ranged from 5 cents an hour in Alaska to $2 an hour in New York.

The average wage for retail trade workers was $16.15 an hour in November 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The latest rises in state minimum-wage rates happened in three ways:

  • By legislative action in California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Rhode Island.
  • By voter initiative in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri and Washington.
  • Through previous legislation action setting automatic cost-of-living adjustments in Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota and Vermont.

The highest state minimum wage in 2019 is $12 an hour in California, Massachusetts and Washington. The minimum wage in the District of Columbia is $14 an hour.

The California minimum applies to businesses with 25 or more employees. Smaller companies can pay $11 an hour.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour but is exceeded in 29 states.

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