By Rural Builder Staff

The number of states that implemented minimum wage increases this year increased slightly from the same mark at the beginning of 2020. Washington, D.C., became one of the first non-city jurisdictions to implement a $15 minimum wage last year, effective July 1, 2020. The changes reflect continued momentum for wage increases at the state and local level, particularly among major U.S. cities.

The drive for higher wages also surfaced in the country’s most recent election cycle. 

President Joe Biden backs a $15 federal minimum wage, a significant increase from the current $7.25 that has been in place since 2009. Florida voters approved a ballot measure to increase the state’s minimum wage annually by $1 per hour until reaching $15 on Sept. 30, 2026, and move to annual adjustments accounting for inflation beginning in 2027.

While some employers have supported the movement to bring the minimum wage in line with current cost-of-living estimates, others have long voiced opposition to the push for a $15 minimum wage. When New York City implemented a $15 minimum in 2018, some local business owners said the law forced them to cut staff, eliminate work shifts, and raise prices, The Wall Street Journal reported, while others supported the changes driving more money to potential customers.

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