Minimum wage hikes are taking place across the country in 2020. Twenty-one states will either raise minimum wage beginning January 1 or will move to increase it sometime this year. 
 
Twenty-six cities and counties have also elected to raise it locally. That means 7 million Americans will earn more in 2020, according to the Economic Policy Institute. 
 
Many of the increasing states are opting to raise minimums to meet a long-term goal - usually $15 an hour. Here's a list of states hiking minimums beginning January 1:
 
  • Alaska: to $10.19 from $9.89.
  • Arizona: to $12.00 to $11.00.
  • Arkansas: to $10.00 from $9.25.
  • California: to $13.00 from $12.00.(*)
  • Colorado: to $12.00 from $11.10.
  • Florida: to $8.56 from $8.46.
  • Illinois: to $9.25 from $8.25.
  • Maine: to $12.00 from $11.00.
  • Maryland: to $11.00 from $10.10.
  • Massachusetts: to $12.75 from $12.00.
  • Michigan: to $9.65 from $9.45.
  • Minnesota: to $10.00 from $9.86.(*)
  • Missouri: to $9.45 from $8.60.
  • Montana: to $8.65 from $8.50.
  • New Jersey: to $11.00 from $10.00.(*)
  • New Mexico: to $9.00 from $7.50.
  • New York: to $11.80 from $11.10.
  • Ohio: to $8.70 from $8.55.(*)
  • South Dakota: to $9.30 from $9.10.
  • Vermont: to $10.96 from $10.78.
  • Washington: to $13.50 from $12.00.
(*) Larger employers only
 
Oregon, Nevada, Connecticut, and Illinois will raise wages later in the year. 
 
The West Coast is home to some of the highest minimum wages. Large employers in Seattle must pay at least $16.39 and some Silicon Valley communities have opted for a $16.05 minimum.
 
Some of the highest new pay rates at the local level include $16.39 for workers at large employers in Seattle, and $16.05 in a couple of communities in California's pricey Silicon Valley.
 
So what does this mean for the woodworking industry?
 
Last year, we surveyed 150 professional woodworkers to find out how they are coping with a lack of skilled and unskilled labor, which is plaguing many companies in our industry. More than 65 percent said they are raising starting pay. Some said they are adding sign-on bonuses and jacking up vacation, sick days, and benefits.
 
In an article last year, Business Insider compiled a list of jobs that were popular among young adults in 1990 but employ few of the same as of 2017. The biggest decline was in wood building and mobile home manufacturing, which saw a 26 percent decrease in incoming young people.
 
Will a higher minimum wage help the industry? Or will it hurt businesses too much? Let us know.
 
 

 

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