ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona’s minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to hit $11 in 2019

Dec 31, 2018, 4:45 AM | Updated: 10:42 am

In this Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 photo, Shawna Green, waitress at Granny Shaffer's, puts out menus fo...

In this Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 photo, Shawna Green, waitress at Granny Shaffer's, puts out menus for customers at the restaurant in Joplin, Mo. Wages will be increasing for millions of low-income workers across the U.S. as the new year ushers in new laws in numerous states. In Missouri and Arkansas, minimum wages are rising as a result of voter-approved ballot initiatives. (Roger Nomer/The Joplin Globe via AP)

(Roger Nomer/The Joplin Globe via AP)

PHOENIX — New minimum wage requirements will take effect in 20 states and nearly two dozen cities around the start of the new year.

One of these states is Arizona, which will see its minimum wage increase from $10.50 to $11 on Jan. 1.

As laid out in Proposition 206, which was passed in 2016, the state minimum wage will again increase to $12 in 2020.

Arizona is one of 29 states that already have minimum wages higher than the federal $7.25 an hour.

Flagstaff, where the minimum wage is already $11, will increase to $12 in 2019.

The city’s minimum wage is slated to continue to incrementally increase, reaching $15 by 2021, due to a local proposition that also passed in 2016.

Other states’ wage hikes range from an extra nickel per hour in Alaska to a $1-an-hour bump in Maine, Massachusetts and for California employers with more than 25 workers.

Seattle’s largest employers will have to pay workers at least $16 an hour starting Tuesday. In New York City, many businesses will have to pay at least $15 an hour as of Monday. That’s more than twice the federal minimum.

The state and local wage laws come amid a multi-year push by unions and liberal advocacy groups to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide. Few are there yet, but many states have ratcheted up wages through phased-in laws and adjustments for inflation.

In Arkansas and Missouri, voters this fall approved ballot initiatives raising the minimum wage after state legislators did not. In Missouri, the minimum wage will rise from $7.85 to $8.60 an hour on Tuesday as the first of five annual increases that will take it to $12 an hour by 2023.

Economic studies on minimum wage increases have shown that some workers do benefit, while others might see their work hours reduced. Businesses may place a higher value on experienced workers, making it more challenging for entry-level employees to find jobs.

Seattle, the fastest-growing large city in the U.S., has been at the forefront of the movement for higher minimum wages. A local ordinance raised the minimum wage to as much as $11 an hour in 2015, then as much as $13 in 2016, depending on the size of the employer and whether it provided health insurance.

A series of studies by the University of Washington has produced evolving conclusions.

In May, the researchers determined that Seattle’s initial increase to $11 an hour had an insignificant effect on employment but that the hike to $13 an hour resulted in “a large drop in employment.” They said the higher minimum wage led to a 6.9 percent decline in the hours worked for those earning under $19 an hour, resulting in a net reduction in paychecks.

In October, however, those same researchers reached a contrasting conclusion. They said Seattle workers employed at low wages experienced a modest reduction in hours worked after the minimum wage increased, but nonetheless saw a net increase in average pretax earnings of $10 a week. That gain generally went to those who already had been working more hours while those who had been working less saw no significant change in their overall earnings.

Both supporters and opponents of higher minimum wages have pointed to the Seattle studies.

The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009.

“The federal minimum wage has really become irrelevant,” said Michael Saltsman, managing director of the Employment Policies Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based group that receives funding from businesses and opposes minimum wage increases.

The new state minimum wage laws could affect about 5.3 million workers who are currently earning less than the new standards, according to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, based in Washington, D.C. That equates to almost 8 percent of the workforce in those 20 states but doesn’t account for additional minimum wage increases in some cities.

Advocates credit the trend toward higher minimum wages to the “Fight for $15,” a national movement that has used protests and rallies to push for higher wages for workers in fast food, child care, airlines and other sectors.

“It may not have motivated every lawmaker to agree that we should go to $15,” said David Cooper, senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. “But it’s motivated many of them to accept that we need higher minimum wages than we currently have in much of the country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

vista-verde-fire...

Nick Borgia

Fire crews responding to wildfire near Vista Verde in Tonto National Forest

Fire crews are responding to a wildfire near Vista Verde, north of Dynamite Boulevard and 136th Street on the Cave Creek Ranger District.

7 minutes ago

David Pagniano....

KTAR.com

Man sentenced to life in prison for burying wife alive in grave north of Prescott

A man from Prescott was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for burying his wife alive in a grave north of Prescott.

2 hours ago

J&J Snack Foods distribution center...

KTAR.com

J&J Snack Foods opens distribution center in Glendale

J&J Snack Foods has opened a distribution center in Glendale.

4 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

KTAR.com

Rudy Giuliani served Arizona indictment in alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results

Attorney Rudy Giuliani was served notice on Friday of his Arizona indictment in the alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results in former President Donald Trump's favor, according to Kris Mayes, the state's attorney general.

6 hours ago

(Photo provided by SRP.)...

KTAR.com

City of Phoenix teams with SRP to remove trees close to power lines, plant more

The City of Phoenix and Salt River Project (SRP) recently teamed to remove trees that posed a threat to overhead power lines within the utility company's service territory.

6 hours ago

(Someburros Photo)...

David Veenstra

Someburros sets opening date for first San Tan Valley location

Someburros, a family-operated Mexican food chain, is opening its first San Tan Valley location next month.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Arizona’s minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to hit $11 in 2019