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

Tell us what that means for you.

AFP/Getty Images

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest