An estimated 4.5 million U.S. workers will benefit from a series of minimum wage increases that went into effect today, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. The wage increases were the result of either new legislation, successful ballot measures, or inflation-related adjustments established by existing formulas. They were scheduled to begin on January 1, 2018, in 18 states across the country.
Ten of those state saw increases that were the result of legislative or ballot measures, per EPI. They are: Maine, Vermont, Washington, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, California, Colorado, Arizona, and Hawaii. Among those, Arizona fared especially well, with more than 16% of workers expected to directly benefit from the changes.
Meanwhile, another eight states will see more modest increases that kick in automatically to keep up with inflation. They are: Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota.
Over the last five years, calls for higher wages have increased with the help of pro-labor advocacy groups like Fight for 15. A report from Pew Research last year found that, when adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968.
EPI put all the new data in an interactive map so you can see how your state is affected. Check it out here.
— Economic Policy Institute (@EconomicPolicy) January 1, 2018