Minimum wage increases in 12 states as of January 1, 2017

By Matt Johnson

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 states raised their minimum wage as of January 1st. New York increased its minimum wage by $2, which was the most of the 12 states. And Arizona increased its minimum wage by $1.95, which was the second most of the 12 states.

Who will benefit from these minimum wage increases? This question may not be so obvious.

State Minimum Wage as of 12/31/16  Minimum Wage as of 1/1/17
Arizona $8.05 $10.00
Arkansas $8.00 $8.50
California $10.00 $10.50
Colorado $8.31 $9.30
Connecticut $9.60 $10.10
Hawaii $8.50 $9.25
Maine $7.50 $9.00
Massachusetts $10.00 $11.00
Michigan $8.50 $8.90
New York $9.00 $11.00 (Increased on 12/31/16)
Vermont $9.60 $10.00
Washington $9.47 $11.00

Nationally, odds are a minimum wage employee is white, female, between the ages of 16 to 24, and works part-time. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Pew Research report, minimum wage workers are

Disproportionately young: 50.4% are ages 16 to 24; 24% are teenagers (ages 16 to 19)…Mostly (77%) white; nearly half are white women…Largely part-time workers (64% of the total).

Something to keep in mind. Raising the minimum wage doesn’t address unemployment amongst black Americans or other non-whites (with the exception of Asians; very few participate in minimum wage jobs); it doesn’t address their participation rate in the market place; and it certainly doesn’t address black business, which doesn’t even have the economic horsepower to compete with white business. So what do these new minimum wage laws address?

If these 12 states follow national trends, then these new laws will address lower wages amongst new white workers entering the labor force.

Attention all white teenage girls and women between the ages of 16 and 24 who are working a minimum wage job! Rejoice! Your wages have just gone up.


Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 

Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue





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