- Of the minimum wage hikes previously passed by states and localities, 18 became effective on July 1, 2018, the Employment Policies Institute reports. Mandates kick in from two states, the District of Columbia and 15 other jurisdictions.
- Of those, 13 are within the $12.00 to $15.70 range. The institute argues that minimum wage increases could lead to job losses, reduced work hours or business closings, thus hurting employment opportunities for workers across the nation.
- It also claims that a study by Miami and Trinity universities showed that when California's $15 an hour minimum wage is fully phased in by 2022, 40,000 jobs will be eliminated. Other studies have disputed that notion regarding the minimum wage, stating increases add new jobs while lower paying jobs are eliminated.
Already, 37 other jurisdictions increased their minimum wages at the beginning of the year, shaping up 2018 to be a complex year for wage and hour compliance. Expect more legislation at the state and local levels moving through this year and into the next, according to experts. Massachusetts recently passed legislation increasing its minimum wage and implementing a paid family medical leave plan, for example.
The debate over the actual impact of these increases continues. In 2017, economists from the University of Washington said their study showed that Seattle's minimum wage increase from $9.47 to $15 an hour in just a two- to three-year time span would leave the poorest employees working fewer hours and earning less money than before. But various skeptics poked holes in that study, despite it being heralded as "very credible" — highlighting the bifurcated nature of the debate overall.
Americans appear to favor increases to the minimum wage, according to recent studies by Adecco and the National Restaurant Association which both found support for such policies to be close to 70%. In turn, some big name companies — including Target and TJ Maxx — have opted to up their minimum wages to better compete for talent and overcome the increasing patchwork of state laws multstate employers contend with.