37 state and local minimum-wage increases take effect nationwide
- With the new year came new minimum-wage rates in 18 states and 19 cities, ranging from as much as $12 to $15 an hour, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).
- Later this year, another three states and 18 cities and counties are set to increase their rates, as well.
- NELP reports that campaigns to raise the minimum-wage rates are underway in 14 states and 3 cities, and all are pushing from rates in the $12 to $15 range.
More than half of the respondents in a November 2017 HR Dive reader poll said that their top compliance concern going into the new year were state and local laws, beating out concerns about family and medical leave, EEO-1 reporting and joint employer liability.
Some attempts to raise minimum-wage rates faced backlash, largely from Republican lawmakers, but 18 states and 19 cities were successful in passing 2018 legislation that's now effective. Experts say that as the federal government continues to roll back regulations on business, employers can expect more legislation at the state and local levels.
Wages remain relatively flat in a job seekers' market, with few employers outside of the tech industry (and, at least seasonally, retail) focused on raising them to attract and retain talent this year. And while recent research shows that workers still prioritize compensation over other benefits, one study found that pay perception may be the most important factor of all.
- National Employment Law Project Raises from Coast to Coast in 2018: Workers in 18 States and 19 Cities and Counties Seeing Minimum Wage Increases on January 1