New year brings new minimum wage throughout NY

However, the idea is annual increases will happen for the rest of the state until the rate reaches $15 an hour for minimum wage and $10 for tipped wage. Each will eventually boost its minimum wages to at least $12 and as much as $15 an hour by phasing in the change.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009, but in the years since, 29 states and the District of Columbia have established minimum wages above the federal level.

South Dakota is one of 20 states that are raising minimum wages for 2019.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, which is where Pennsylvania's remains. Last year, she briefly made $10 an hour until Missouri passed a law to pre-empt wage increases in its cities. More than 40 cities, half of them in California, have implemented their own minimum wages, reflecting the increasing costs of living in numerous country's most economically dynamic areas.

"The federal minimum wage has really become irrelevant", said Michael Saltsman, managing director of the Employment Policies Institute, a Washington, D.C. -based group that receives funding from businesses and opposes minimum wage increases.

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"Working people are struggling to pay their bills, but they see that it's the corporations and the wealthy CEOs who are getting the tax breaks", Owens said. "Whereas $15 is what a single worker needs in a less expensive state such as Alabama, Florida or Texas".

Not every minimum wage increase happens at the beginning of the year.

The debate over the minimum wage has long divided both Americans and economists. Numerous states that voted to increase their minimums have also previously passed laws forbidding cities from setting their local wages higher.

And others say minimum wages are important, but city and states, rather than the federal government, should set them because the cost of living varies widely across the country.

In another six states - Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri and Washington - voters took matters into their own hands, approving measures at the ballot box to raise the minimum wage, according to the nonprofit.

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