With 2022 underway, millions of low-paid workers are set to benefit from a minimum wage increase, whilst many companies have announced plans to improve pay rates for workers.
According to reports, 22 states intend to raise the minimum wage from the current federal minimum of $7.25, which has been in place for ten years.
Currently, Washington DC has the highest minimum wage at $15.20, but from January 1st, both New York and California will require employers to set their pay at a minimum of $15.
In California, this only applies to companies with at least 26 employees. For smaller businesses, the base pay rate will be set at $14 per hour.
Among other states that have announced minimum wage increases from this year are Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, and New Mexico. These are expected to be implemented between 2023 and 2026.
According to the report, which was released by Wolters Kluwe, “These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country.
In addition to previously approved incremental increases, the change in presidential administration earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to these changes.”
What are companies doing to improve wages?
As well as increases in the minimum wage at the state level, a large and growing number of individual companies are hiking their wages to help attract and retain staff.
Companies that increase wages experience many benefits, like better staff retention and savings in other areas, like reduced sickness and improved customer service.
The pandemic has resulted in many workers quitting their jobs or moving away, which has meant staff shortages in some areas.
Walmart, Target, Wells Fargo, Aetna, and Chipolte have all announced pay rises for minimum wage employees. Other employers, including Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, are predicted to follow this example later in 2022.