Half of States Nationwide Set to Raise Minimum Wage in 2021

About half of states across the country will raise their minimum wages next year. The minimum wage is going up to $15 an hour on Friday in all those states except for five — Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, Nevada and Oregon, according to CNBC.

President-elect Joe Biden has also expressed an interest in raising the federal minimum wage when he takes office. In addition, Biden plans to get rid of the tipped minimum wage, which is a lower base amount given to employees who primarily make their money from tips. Raising the minimum wage would impact many Americans who work in service industries from maids and janitors to restaurant workers.

Biden would also like to index the minimum wage so it will match inflation. The federal minimum wage has not been hiked in more than a decade. Experts say it is welcome news for workers especially now in light of the pandemic.

“We have lots of low-wage, service workers who are working through the Covid crisis, many of whom are in jobs with a greater risk of transmission,” said Ken Jacobs, chair of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California-Berkeley, according to CNN. “This will be a very welcome boost for them. As well, a lot of families are struggling right now in this crisis.”

However, those who oppose raising the minimum wage argue that it would be detrimental for small businesses and lead to higher unemployment. Despite this, an increasing number of both Democrats and Republicans support the raise.