Employers in 18 states, including several here in the Northeast, are preparing for minimum wage increases that will be effective on the first of the year.
In Massachusetts, the minimum wage is set to rise to $12 per hour, a $1 increase from the current rate of $11. This increase is the first step in a five-year plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2023. Each year will see another wage hike. The tipped minimum wage for workers in service industries, primarily restaurant servers, will also be gradually raised over the next five years.
Minimum wage growth in Massachusetts
- January 1, 2019: $12 minimum wage; $4.35 tipped minimum wage
- January 1, 2020: $12.75 minimum wage; $4.95 tipped minimum wage
- January 1, 2021: $13.50 minimum wage; $5.55 tipped minimum wage
- January 1, 2022: $14.25 minimum wage; $6.15 tipped minimum wage
- January 1, 2023: $15 minimum wage; $6.75 tipped minimum wage
Other states have enacted similar legislation (although not necessarily for tipped minimum wage). Decentralization is a common trend, with many states passing minimum wage increases that vary by county or even by employer.
Rhode Island’s minimum wage will increase by 40 cents to $10.50, which affects most employees across the state. Minimum wage workers in New York state will see their pay increased to $11.10 per hour, but the state’s largest city sets its own rates. In New York City, the new minimum wage will be $13.50 during 2019, or $15 for fast food employees. Vermont is preparing for one of the smallest increases in the nation, with its statewide minimum wage rising 28 cents to $10.78 per hour.
The other states that approved minimum wage increases for 2019 are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota and Washington. Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25, where it has been since the last increase in 2009.