Personal Finance

Here's where workers can earn a $15 per hour minimum wage

Key Points
  • The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour since 2009.
  • In 2022, 26 states are slated to raise their minimum pay.
  • The moves come as some companies are also increasing their pay to attract workers.
Labor activists hold a rally in support of a national $15 minimum wage on May 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images News | Getty Images

As the calendar changes to a new year, residents of some states can expect to see a boost to their paychecks.

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, several states will implement increases to their minimum wages. In total, 26 states plan to raise their minimum wages in 2022, according to a report from payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

The highest rate will be $15 per hour in California and parts of New York.

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Within the next few years, more states are expected to reach the $15 per hour rate. That includes Connecticut and Massachusetts by 2023; New Jersey by 2024; Delaware, Illinois and Rhode Island, as well as large employers in Maryland, by 2025; and Florida and small employers in Maryland by 2026.

Employees under the governor's jurisdiction in Pennsylvania are also slated to see a $15 per hour wage by 2024.

Hover over the map below to see how much the states plan to raise their wages in 2022.

The federal minimum wage has not been raised from $7.25 per hour since 2009.

Efforts to implement a $15 per hour rate nationally — a key part of President Joe Biden's agenda — failed earlier this year. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that the proposal could not be included in Democrats' $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which was passed without any Republican support through a process known as reconciliation.

In April, Biden signed an executive order that requires federal contractors to pay workers a minimum of $15 per hour.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., praised Biden's move and called for additional action on the issue.

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"Congress should follow his lead and end starvation wages for the rest of the nation," Sanders tweeted in April.

The national proposal has drawn some criticism amid concerns $15 per hour could be too high for certain areas and place a burden on small businesses, said Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. 

"It won't apply equally across the country; it might make more sense to do it locally," Kennedy said.

Some local areas are choosing to raise their wages due to a high cost of living. West Hollywood, California, for example, will have the highest minimum rate in the country, with a $17.64 minimum hourly rate for hotel workers starting on Jan. 1. The city is also raising pay rates for other workers up to $16 to $16.50 per hour, depending on the employer, next year.

Increased competition for workers during the pandemic has prompted some companies to raise their minimum pay.

Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2018, and said earlier this year it planned to pay more than 500,000 workers between 50 cents to $3 more per hour.

Target, which has set its minimum wage at $15, is offering $2 more per hour during peak days during the holiday season this year.