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Employers moving faster than states to raise hourly pay

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On May 19, 2021, labor activists held a demonstration to support raising the minimum wage from $15 per hour to $15 on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

California’s biggest businesses must pay their workers minimum $15 per hour by January.

This is a landmark fast food workers have strived to reach since 2012. However, anti-poverty activists have not been satisfied. The state’s rising cost of living, and the increasing inflation are reasons they want more.

Joe Sanberg, an activist and investor, is funding the effort to collect enough signatures to put a California ballot initiative before voters in November. Sanberg is open to the possibility of running for President. He wants California’s minimum wages to reach $18 an hour for all employers by 2026.

We were the first to push for $15 minimum wages, but we must now move it forward. Sanberg: It is overdue for $18 told the Los Angeles Times.

Washington and 26 other states in the USA will increase their minimum wage next year. only California and parts of New York will mandate hourly pay of at least $15According to a report from payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

However, workers who have been paid more will be able to see substantial increases in their wages because they were pushed by their employers.

Many companies, from pizzerias to banks, increased hourly wages to retain and attract staff due to a tight labor market. This year marked the first time that the average wage of restaurant and supermarket workers rose above $15 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the BLS, wages and salaries saw an increase of 4.2% in the twelve months ending September 2021.

Others have already exceeded the $15 threshold. AmazonSince 2018, the company has been paying its employees at least $15 per hour and started offering $18 an hour to new hires in September 2018. CostcoIn October, Hobby Lobby raised the minimum wage to $17 per hour. Hobby Lobby’s full-time workers will start January with minimum $18.50 per hour. T-MobileThe company pays at least $20 an hour to its 75,000 workers. Und Bank of AmericaHe has committed to paying hourly workers $25 per hour by 2025

“It’s a job-seekers’ market, which means competition to keep and find top talent is competitive — and as a great employer, we like it that way,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote in a letter to employees announcing the wage hike on Dec. 10.

A pandemic brought awareness to the low wage hourly worker and increased appreciation. The essential roles of grocery store cashiers and restaurant dishwashers were recognised and earned bonuses for their work during lockdowns. This helped consumers stay at home and provided them with basic necessities. The higher unemployment benefits reflect the low wages of low-wage workers. Many deposit unemployment checks that are much larger than their previous paychecks.

Advocates of anti-poverty are pushing for higher wages than $15 per hour, citing inflation as well as the cost of basic necessities. Inflation surged 6.8% in NovemberThis is the highest rate of inflation since 1982. Paychecks don’t stretch as far to the gas station or grocery store. The real average hourly wage, which takes into account inflation and the average working week, dropped 1.9% in November, compared to a year earlier. Economists are divided on whether higher wages were the driving factor behind current inflation.

It is now widely accepted that $15 is the minimum wage workers in any country need to survive. $15 has always been the floor, not the ceiling, for wages — and working people will continue to demand lawmakers and employers increase pay to keep up with the rising cost of living and ensure that every community can thrive,” Allynn Umel, campaign director for the Fight for $15 and a Union, said in a statement to CNBC.

However, the starting salary of some large private employers in the country is still lower than the $15 benchmark. For example, Walmart hiked pay for workers to a minimum of $12 an hourThis was an increase of $11 from the 2018 pay ceiling. However, the retailer states that its U.S. average wage is now $16.40

To remain competitive, companies are planning to increase their wages in the next year. This is a signal that the labor force won’t recover from November’s 4.2% unemployment. Walgreens Boots AllianceOlive Garden owner will be making $15 per hour in November 2022. Darden RestaurantsIn December, it announced that it would accelerate its plans for raising pay to $12/hour including tips.

More than half of the U.S. state’s are increasing their wage rates in 2022. However, $20 states pay the same as the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour. These states are more likely to have Republicans elected as governors than the states raising minimum wages.

Democrats had attempted earlier in the year to raise federal minimum wages through an amendment within the Covid-19 stimul bill. However, the attempt failed. Since 2009, the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 per hour.

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