NEW YORK — The New Year will start well for over 3 million workers — they’re getting a raise. Employers in 21 states and Washington D.C. will hike their minimum wages on January 1. This has been a huge year for low wage workers. Sparked by a wave of fast food and retail worker protests, more than a dozen states like Alaska, South Dakota and Nebraska and many cities such Seattle and Oakland have jumped on the momentum and passed new laws to raise the minimum wage.
“We’ve seen a historic number of states increasing their minimum wages,” said David Cooper, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, which researches minimum wage issues. “People’s understanding of where the wage floor should be has changed a lot, and in part caused by strikes and protests.”
It could certainly be a big day for Wayne Davis, who earns $8.25 an hour at McDonald’s in Tampa, Florida. Davis earns 20 cents more than Florida’s new minimum wage of $8.05. But workers across the board are likely see a pay bump, labor experts say.