It looks as though millions of American workers will be bringing in the New Year with a happier bank account thanks to minimum wage shakeups throughout the nation.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, over 3.1 million workers throughout the country will see an increase in their pay thanks to 20 states raising their minimum wage rates on January 1st. Meanwhile, New York will raise its rates on December 31st.
Of the 20 states, nine of them will have minimum wage rates that are indexed for inflation so that each year they automatically increase in order to match rising prices.The minimum wage spike in the 11 other states, including Washington, D.C., are a result of legislation changes that have forced states to increase their wages. Later in the year, minimum wage workers in Delaware and Minnesota will also see a rise in their pay thanks to new law adjustments.
Given that consumer spending accounts for roughly 70 percent of the U.S. economy, providing Americans with increased wage amounts to help them better afford their basic needs seems to be a winning situation for all. As seen in the table below, these increases will provide workers with $1.6 billion in additional wages over the course of 2015, which will translate to about $1.1 billion in economic growth for the country, according to EPI estimations.
With 29 states, including the nation’s capital, having minimum wages above the federal minimum of $7.25 in the new year, it’s clear that more states are taking the concern of worker’s pay into their own hands rather than waiting on the federal government to act.