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Minimum Wage Increases Coming to Los Angeles, DC, Maryland And Oregon

Jun 26, 2017

Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Oregon will raise their respective minimum wages on July 1 as part of ballot measures previously approved by voters.

The wages in LA will rise from $10.50 to $12, with exceptions for companies employing 25 workers or fewer.

This hourly rate still falls below the cost of living in the county for a single adult, according to MIT’s living wage calculator. If the cost of living remains the same in the LA metro area, the minimum wage will catch up by 2020 under the current legislation.

The pay floor in Washington D.C. will increase to $12.50, Maryland to $9.25, and Oregon to $10.25.

Even with these increases, the minimum wages remain at least 15% lower than the cost of living in each area, according to the MIT calculator.

Although there has been no change to the federal minimum wage since 2009, when it increased nearly 10% to $7.25, states and cities continue to enact pay floors for their workers. In 2016, voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington supported ballot measures to significantly increase wages by 2020.

There are now 30 states with laws that set the minimum wage above the federal rate. Last week Atlanta's city council approved a budget that will increase the minimum wage for city workers to $15 over the next two years.

Research about Seattle, one of the first cities to raise the minimum wage in 2014, presents mixed findings on the effects of increasing hourly pay. Two reports out this week show that while there was no negative effect on workers in the restaurant industry. Food service is often used as a proxy when assessing the impact of pay increases on minimum wage jobs. When hourly work was more broadly studied, researchers concluded that an increase in pay could mean fewer hours for low-wage earners.

To see changes in state and metro minimum wages through 2022, check out this Fortune graphic.

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