Workers in 19 States have just received a gift in their paychecks at the beginning of 2019. Many workers will be seeing legislated increases in pay due to recent legislation passed over the past year.
According to a story on the HR Dive website, Fisher & Phillips LLP recently released a report showing which states will be increasing the minimum wages that workers are paid, and by how much. In some states, like Oregon and Washington D.C, workers will see their pay increase take effect later in the year.
In addition to state increases, the Economic Policy Institute reported that 24 cities and counties are also increasing the minimum wage on January 1, 2019, to provide a living wage to some 5 million workers across the country. This increase is expected to pump an additional $5.4 billion into the economy in the form of increased pay for minimum wage workers.
There’s still an ongoing debate, however, as to whether such mandated increases will end up being a good or bad thing for workers. The increased wage gives workers more spending power and can act as an overall boost to the economy as a whole. Some smaller employers and those companies that either cannot afford the new required minimum wage or don’t wish to see their profits decrease because of higher labor costs will often reduce the number of employees, reduce the hours for each worker, or simply eliminate positions altogether. A recent poll of some 137 businesses in the Seattle area after a recent wage hike found that while positions below the minimum wage decreased, those earning at or above the rate, in fact, increased.
Economic policy experts believe that there will continue to be a hard push by lawmakers to increase the minimum page for workers throughout 2019.