New year, new minimum-wage rate as of January 1, 2019


According to, the minimum wage rate is recalculated yearly on September 30, based on the Consumer Price Index.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009, but in the years since, 29 states and the District of Columbia have established minimum wages above the federal level.

In Missouri and neighboring Arkansas, voters in November overwhelmingly approved a minimum-wage increase, which directly affects about 1 million workers.

"New York City is raising the minimum at the same time as we hear of an increasing number of stores closing in New York City", said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, noting how many of these enterprises offered "gateway" jobs in low-wage sectors.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour hasn't gone up in a decade.

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If you're an employer with minimum-wage employees, you may have to pay them more starting this week.

Economic studies on minimum wage increases have shown that some workers do benefit, while others might see their work hours reduced.

Advocates say the trend toward higher minimum wages began in 2012, when the "Fight for $15" national movement began protesting for higher wages for fast food, child care and airline workers, among other businesses. This will complete the three-year phase-in of the $15 minimum wage, which was agreed to by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers in 2016. In today's dollars, the 1968 wage would be worth $11.83. Few are there yet, but many states have ratcheted up wages through phased-in laws and adjustments for inflation.

The minimum wage is annually adjusted by any increase in the cost of living, as measured in the Consumer Price Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor. In Illinois, a new law requires that total to match the local minimum wage instead of the federal one.