There are 9 states that are raising the minimum wage: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Virginia.
Arkansas makes it on the list of what states are raising minimum wage because the increase is happening by at least $1/hr. In 2021, voters passed the minimum wage increase from $10/hr to $11/hr, which is somewhat higher than the $7.25 federal minimum wage. This minimum wage increase is part of a three-year increase that began in 2019 with the Arkansas Minimum Wage Increase Initiative when the minimum wage was just $8.50/hr.
Connecticut is another state that enacted a 2019 law that would set in motion a series of yearly minimum wage increases. In August 2021, Connecticut raised its minimum wage to $13/hr, and the plan is to move it to $15 by June 2023. However, the minimum wage for bartenders and other tipped employees does not reflect these changes.
The minimum wage in Delaware is set to reach $15/hr by 2025, starting January 2022, with a wage rate of $10.50/hr from $9.25/hr.
However, Delaware has a separate wage rate for workers between the ages of 14 and 17 - the Youth Rate is $8.75. There's also a $2.23 wage rate if the employee receives tips and an $8.75 training wage for employees over 18 who are in the first 90 days of a new job.
In January 2021, New Jersey raised its standard minimum wage rate to $12 from $11. New Jersey is also on the list of what states are raising minimum wage to $15 in yearly increments. The legislature was signed by Governor Murphy in 2018 when the minimum wage was $8.60.
California also makes it high on the list of what states are raising the minimum wage. That's because it has one of the country's highest minimum wages. California has been increasing its minimum wage on a statewide basis since 2016, when it enacted the legislation. In January 2021, the minimum wage increased to $14/hr for employers with 26 or more employees and 13/hr for employers with 25 or fewer employees. California is aiming for a $15/hr minimum wage by 2023.
Virginia passed a new minimum wage law which took effect in May 2021. This law increases the minimum wage from the federal rate of $7.25 to $9.50. Future yearly increases are scheduled until there's a $15 minimum wage rate.
New Mexico is in the same group of states that are increasing the minimum wage in phases. The first phase pushed the wage rate to $10.50 from $9 in 2021, and the rate is set to reach $12 by 2023. However, the minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.80. In addition, some cities and municipalities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe are also setting a local minimum wage.
Illinois workers were favored with a minimum wage increase on July 1, 2020. The rate went up to $10/hr from $9/hr and is set to continue increasing to $15 by 2015. The minimum wage for tipped employees ($6.60) and youths under 18 working less than 650 hours each year ($8.50) are also set to increase in phases to $9 and $13, respectively.
Rhode Island enacted a new minimum wage increase law in 2021. Similar to other states, these hikes will be incremental until the minimum wage is $15 In 2025. In the first step, the rate will increase from $11.50 to $12.25.