Are You Getting a Raise Thanks to New Minimum Wage Laws?

Tell us what that means for you.

AFP/Getty Images

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

This new year, minimum wage workers across the country will be seeing a bump in their paychecks. On January 1, 19 states and 21 cities raised their minimum wages for a total of nearly 5.3 million workers. New York City, for instance, raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour for millions of workers, and in SeaTac, Washington, the minimum wage rose to $16.08 an hour, becoming the highest in the country.

Some of these raises were incremental advances required by legislation passed years ago, such as in the case of California, where wages rose to $11 an hour in 2019 and will reach $15 an hour in 2023. Other raises were won through ballot measures, such as in Arkansas and Missouri. Thanks to the efforts of mobilizing groups such as Fight for Fifteen and One Fair Wage, what seemed like an impossibility just years ago has become a reality for millions of blue-collar workers. And despite skepticism from big business, higher minimum wages seem to be paying off—a study of Seattle, which raised its wages to $16 this January in a $5 increase over the course of four years, showed that raising the minimum wage led to greater income gains and decreased employee turnover.

In the past decade, 29 states and 42 localities have taken raising the minimum wage into their own hands—even as the federally set minimum wage has remained stagnant since 2009. And the trend isn’t going away: Wages are set to rise in Oregon and Washington, DC, this summer, and lawmakers in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania have already begun calling for a raise in minimum wages this year. Advocates in states like Michigan are gearing up for more ballot fights in 2020.

But we want to know what a bigger paycheck means to you: Are you getting a raise thanks to the new minimum wage laws? Tell us how it will change—or has already changed—your life.

Let us know in the form below, send us an email at talk@motherjones.com, or leave us a voicemail at (510) 519-MOJO. We may use some of your responses for a follow-up story.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.