Minimum Wages Set to Increase in Many States in 2017 – By  Eric Morath Dec. 30, 2016 5:30 a.m. ET


About 4.4 million low-wage workers across the country are slated to receive a raise

Workers at a McDonald’s Corp. location in New York. At the start of 2017, the minimum wage for fast-food workers in the city will rise to $12 an hour, just one of many increases to the pay floor across the country to begin the new year.ENLARGE

Workers at a McDonald’s Corp. location in New York. At the start of 2017, the minimum wage for fast-food workers in the city will rise to $12 an hour, just one of many increases to the pay floor across the country to begin the new year. Photo: Richard Drew/Associated Press

Minimum wages will increase in 20 states at the start of the year, a shift that will lift pay for millions of individuals and shed light on a long-running debate about whether mandated pay increases at the bottom do more harm or good for workers.

In Massachusetts, the minimum wage will rise $1, to $11 an hour, a change that affects about 291,000 workers. In California, the minimum goes up 50 cents, to $10.50 an hour, boosting pay for 1.7 million individuals.

Wages are also going up in many Republican-led states, where politicians have traditionally been skeptical of the benefits of minimum-wage increases.

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Tens of thousands of low-wage workers flood the streets demanding higher pay – Bryce Covert November 29, 2016


Fast food workers, Uber drivers, childcare providers, home health aides, airport workers, healthcare employees, and adjunct protested on Tuesday.`

The movement, which now calls itself the Fight for 15, is demanding a minimum wage of at least $15 as well as the right to unionize. And Tuesday’s day of action proved just how massive it has now become. Strikes and protests weren’t limited to New York City — they reached 340 cities. Fast food workers were joined by a variety of low-paid people, including childcare providers, home health aides, airport workers, healthcare employees, adjunct professors, and, for the first time, Uber drivers.

Uber drivers went on strike in more than two dozen cities. They were joined by striking hospital workers in Pittsburgh as well as a number of fast food employees across the country.

Many airport workers, including baggage handlers and cabin cleaners, also went on strike for the first time. A group walked off the job at Boston’s Logan International Airport, while more than 500 went on strike at Chicago O’Hare. They were backed up by protests at nearly 20 other major airports.

A number of other workers and supporters were arrested for acts of civil disobedience. In Detroit, Michigan, home care worker Renita Wilson was arrested at 5 a.m. while demanding she be paid $15 an hour, be allowed to join a union, and have access to affordable health insurance with a client she cares for, Carl Watkins, at her side.

Uber drivers, fast food employees, and airport workers were also arrested outside of McDonald’s restaurants in a number of cities, including Cambridge, Chicago, Detroit, and New York City. Organizers said tens of thousands of people joined the protests.

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Good news is coming for America’s low-wage workers – Bob Bryan May 23 2016


minimum wage

REUTERS/Noah BergerProtesters calling for higher wages for fast-food workers stand outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Oakland, California, December 5, 2013.

While income inequality has been a structural issue for some time, there are signs that low-income Americans with jobs are now getting some relief.

In notes this past week, Bank of America Merril Lynch (BAML), JPMorgan, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta all laid out good news regarding the paychecks of low-wage workers.

In a note on the growth of subprime auto loans, BAML economists Emanuella Enenajor and Lisa Berlin showed reason for optimism based on wage-growth metrics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment report.

“Finally, the lower-income consumer, the demographic segment most likely comprising subprime borrowers, has been experiencing strong income growth,” the note read.

“Average wage growth of the bottom 10% and bottom 20% of employment categories has been accelerating at twice the pace of all other jobs.”

Screen Shot 2016 05 23 at 10.55.01 AMBank of America

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