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Tri-State Area to see minimum wage raise in 2022

Some states along the East Coast will increase the minimum wage, as the federal amount remains untouched.

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Nearly 25 states in the U.S. plan to raise the minimum wage in 2022. Along the East Coast, New Jersey and Delaware are among the states to see increases.

Starting Jan. 1, New Jersey employees can receive $13/hr increasing from $12 in 2021,  and Delaware will lift its minimum wage rate to $10.50/hr from $9.25. 

As cities across the country see increased living costs and inflation reaching its highest point since 1982, anti-poverty activists argue it is time to petition for higher wages.

Deirdre Kennedy, the senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., said in an annual report that this creates momentum for those earning the bare minimum from employers.

“These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country,” said Kennedy. 

The Living Wage Calculator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology defines a living wage as an estimated minimum earning required to meet basic necessities of food, housing, health, and transportation while considering income and payroll taxes.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2021 employers in the restaurant and grocery industries had bumped their minimum wage above $15/hr for the first time.

Other companies, including in retail and hospitality, also saw growth in the last year, as efforts for employee support and self-care became a national trend.

Sam’s Club, was one of many employers including Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, who led a company-wide push in September to offer “competitive pay” and to move pass a $15/hr minimum wage.

The Economic Policy Institute has a minimum wage tracker indicating what states will see a change in wages, and residents can find each states’ previous set amount.

States that raise the minimum wage are those who choose to place their own amount apart from the federal rate of $7.25/hr, a limit that hasn’t changed since 2009.

Federal minimum wage prior to 2009 had gone through a two-year adjustment from $5.85/hr in 2007, and $6.55/hr in 2008.

Congress in early March 2021 attempted to establish a new federal minimum of $15/hr but failed to pass the Senate with a 42-58 vote.

It will now be a 13-year period without a government increase.

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