Chipotle attracted nearly 24,000 applicants through an online job fair a week after the chain announced it was boosting its minimum wage

  • Chipotle got nearly 24,000 applicants in a one week period through Discord.
  • Chipotle announced it would raise average wages to $15 per hour.
  • The restaurant industry is struggling to hire workers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Chipotle says it received more than 23,000 job applications through online chat platform Discord. The thousands of applicants came just after the fast casual chain announced it would raise the average hourly wage to $15 and hire 20,000 new workers.

As retailers struggle to hire workers, Chipotle became the first brand to launch a career fair on Discord, the company said. Discord is a group chatting platform originally built for gamers, but the service is now used by all kinds of online communities. The Discord server hosted recruitment content and sessions with Chipotle employees on benefits and career paths.

Read more: Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol answers 9 questions about the chain’s future including the fight for delivery profits, menu innovation, and franchising

Over a one-week period, Chipotle told Insider that it received 23,873 total applications following the career fair, an increase of 77% over the previous week and 298% over the first week of April.

Earlier in May, Chipotle announced plans to raise hourly wages for workers, bringing the average up $2 from $13 to $15. Wages will range from $11 to $18 an hour, going into effect by June.

Chipotle is hiring for thousands of jobs, including 20,000 open roles, plus workers to staff the 200 new locations planned to open this year. Hiring has been difficult for many companies that have reported a lack of candidates for open positions. But retail and restaurants are are also struggling to retain workers who want to leave for new opportunities. That’s making the sector’s labor crunch even worse.

Subway, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell, along with others, are advertising thousands of open positions online in hopes of staffing up and returning to pre-pandemic hours with open dining rooms. Some hiring managers are advertising perks like $50 for an interview, signing bonuses, and referral programs.

It seems perks aren’t enough to restaff restaurants as thousands of people leave the industry for good. In that case, raising wages as Chipotle did may be the only way to attract workers.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at

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McDonald’s workers are planning strikes in 15 cities for higher wages ahead of the chain’s annual investor meeting

A McDonald’s sign is seen outside one of its restaurants in Joliet, Illinois, March 26, 2015.

  • McDonald’s workers in 15 US cities plan to strike on May 19.
  • The strikes are planned for the day before McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting.
  • They say McDonald’s is turning to perks and hiring incentives instead of just raising pay.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

McDonald’s workers in 15 US cities plan to strike for higher wages on May 19, the day before the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Employees will go on strike to demand all McDonald’s workers make at least $15 per hour. So far, the strikes are planned for Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Chicago, Detroit, Flint, Kansas City, St Louis, Raleigh-Durham, Charleston, Houston, and Milwaukee. A demonstration is also planned outside the company’s Chicago headquarters, organizers from the advocacy group Fight for $15 said.

McDonald’s did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read more: Jack in the Box is the 5th largest burger brand, but it bested McDonald’s during the pandemic. Now, it’s looking for franchisees to open restaurants, which make about $1.7 million a year.

Workers say McDonald’s is offering all kinds of perks to attract workers amidst the labor shortage – but not raising pay. One organizer shared a photo of a $500 signing bonus at a location in Fayetteville, North Carolina. And in Florida, one McDonald’s is paying candidates $50 just for an interview, but even that isn’t creating enough applicants, Insider previously reported.

McDonald's offers $500 signing bonus

Blake Casper, the McDonald’s franchisee offering to pay interview candidates $50, told Insider that he’d had some success with signing bonuses and referral programs. But tactics aren’t enough to compensate for the entire chain’s lack of workers. The company is looking to hire 25,000 employees in Texas and 8,000 in Tennessee, while fast-food competitors like Taco Bell, Whataburger, and others all struggle with the same problem.

Organizers cited McDonald’s massive revenue and the danger of working during COVID as reasons for striking.

“Last year, in the middle of a global pandemic, McDonald’s made $5 billion and gave billions to its shareholders – all while workers like me risked our lives to keep stores running for less than $15/hr. I can’t afford to wait any longer for a raise,” Hakim Dumkia, a worker in St. Louis, said. “I plan to go on strike to say to McDonald’s: don’t wait for politicians in Washington to pay us what we need to survive. We supported McDonald’s through the pandemic, and now you need to pay us enough to support our families and our communities.”

The striking workers also demand the company withdraw from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and International Franchise Association (IFA). In 2019, McDonald’s announced it would no longer lobby against increased minimum wages, but the two lobbying organizations continue to fight minimum wage increases.

In 2021, the NRA wrote a letter to Congress advocating against the Raise the Wage Act, which would have raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. Fight for 15 data shared with Insider shows that the NRA and IFA spent over $3.2 million lobbying against increased wages since April 2019, after McDonald’s agreed to stop working against it.

Neither organization immediately responded to requests for comment.

The McDonald’s workers’ grievances speak to a larger issue across the fast food industry and in retail more broadly. Nearly half of all US restaurants say they are “severely understaffed.”

11 Starbucks workers previously told Insider that their stores are understaffed and facing high turnover rates due to low pay, thousands of 7-Eleven franchisees told the chain that they can’t reopen to overnight hours because they can’t find workers, and Dollar General workers in Maine just walked out in protest over low wages and understaffed stores.

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at

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Andrew Yang on which would more broadly help the most Americans: universal basic income or higher wages

Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang rides the Staten Island Ferry on February 26 in New York City.

Most progressives – really, most Americans – agree that income inequality is a tremendous problem. For over 40 years, the vast majority of profits have gone to the wealthiest 10% of the economy, and a gigantic portion of those gains have been scooped up by the wealthiest .01 percent. The $50 trillion dollars that used to go to the American working class has now been leveraged to a fraction of the population, and that disparity is now obvious to everyone.

In this case, though, identifying the problem is the easy part. A lot of very smart people have many different ideas about how to alleviate income inequality, and many of these ideas aren’t compatible with one another. So decisions will have to be made about how to get that money back in the pockets of ordinary Americans.

For Nick Hanauer, the host of the “Pitchfork Economics” podcast, the first step to address income inequality was easy. In Washington state, Hanauer became one of the leading voices in the Fight for $15, which called for a $15 minimum wage. Now that it’s been endorsed by almost every single high-profile Democratic politician, $15 seems obvious, though Forbes in 2013 characterized it as a “near insane” proposition.

In the latest episode of “Pitchfork Economics,” Hanauer describes those early days of the Fight for $15 to former presidential candidate and current New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. And Yang is in agreement with Hanauer’s assessment that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy.

“Just about everything out of your mouth, I’ve always agreed with,” Yang told Hanauer. “But I think you would agree with me, particularly during this pandemic, that the extremity [of America’s income inequality] is accelerating and getting worse.”

Yang’s approach to fixing the economy

The entrepreneur and New York City mayoral candidate is perhaps the most high-profile proponent of the universal basic income (UBI), in which the government would send every American a check that they could then spend however they wish.

Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang.

“If I had a choice between something like universal basic income and a higher minimum wage, I would choose universal basic income,” Yang said. “But if I don’t get universal basic income, then I’m all for raising the minimum wage.”

“I’m on exactly the other side of that trade,” Hanauer said. “I really do believe in capitalism. I do believe that it is a great economic system – the best ever devised.” At the same time, Hanauer rejects the idea that “the whole system will come tumbling down if companies are required to pay their workers enough to live in dignity without food stamps.”

Yang told Hanauer that when he considered getting into public life, “I looked at the political possibility of changing the labor standards along the way you suggest.”

Universal basic income versus a higher minimum wage

Yang believes that the idea of a UBI is simpler and more suited to the modern world than reforming and updating the suite of labor standards instituted in the first half of the 20th century. He considers automation to be the leading problem for American workers in the 21st century, and believes that a significant portion of the American workforce will be made obsolete once technologies like self-driving cars and trucks finally mature.

If Yang’s dire prediction is correct, and millions of Americans are forced out of work and essentially considered useless to the labor force, a UBI might be better-suited to solve that crisis.

Nick Hanauer 100 list

Hanauer, however, believes that the coming wave of automation is not significantly different than the uncountable waves of automation that workers have lived through since the dawn of civilization. The invention of assembly lines, industrial farming equipment, and personal computing caused disruption in their fields that temporarily put people out of work, but all three technologies created jobs in the long run.

Hanauer believes that the real battle is to make sure that the newly created jobs pay enough that workers can afford to fully participate in the economy, because their consumer demand is what creates more jobs.

A meaningful path forward

The problem with internal debates among progressives is that there is no one right answer, and that these economic ideas are largely exclusive of each other – no politician that I know of is simultaneously calling for expanding the minimum wage and also establishing a regular series of UBI payments for all Americans.

The path forward can only be found through good-faith, informed debates like this, deliberating what action is possible, which outcomes are preferable, and who is persuadable. The debates of today are the crucibles that shape the policy of tomorrow.

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Senators who voted against a $15 minimum wage represent three-quarters of the workers who would benefit, study says

fight for 15 minimum wage protest
Demonstrators participate in a protest outside of McDonald’s corporate headquarters on January 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

  • A new report from the Economic Policy Institute looks at who would benefit from a $15 minimum wage.
  • It found that 24 million of the workers who would are in states where senators voted against it.
  • The wage hike wasn’t included in the stimulus package after 7 Democrats voted against it.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Of the 32 million workers who would receive a raise under a $15 minimum wage, 24 million are in states where senators voted against it, according to a new report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

That works out to 75% of all the workers who would benefit from a higher federal minimum. The 32 million workers who would be impacted represent 21% of the overall workforce, according to the report.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ push to include a provision for raising the wage to $15 by 2025 was voted down on Friday. Seven Democrats – including the moderates Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema – joined Republicans in voting down the measure. Also voting against was independent Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats.

The EPI report found that increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would also benefit America’s essential and frontline workers. It would be a wage hike for 19 million of them, around 60% of all workers impacted.

As Insider’s Grace Dean previously reported, almost a third of Black workers would get a raise under the policy; EPI also found that 26% of Hispanic workers would benefit from the bump.

A $15 minimum wage has broad support. In an Insider poll, over 60% of respondents said they would definitely or probably support a $15 minimum wage. Respondents were more split on when an increase should come into effect: 39% said that, were the increase to go into effect, a “$15 minimum wage should be implemented immediately.” Conversely, 50% would “prefer a phased rollout, gradually raising the minimum wage annually to $15 in 2025.”

Sanders’ Raise the Wage Act would have raised the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025. Even that schedule wasn’t quick enough for some minimum wage workers.

Cynthia Murray, a Walmart associate and member of United for Respect, testified at a Senate budget committee hearing on the proposed increase.

“We’ve been talking about this issue for years, and not just a couple of years,” Murray told Insider after her testimony. “That’s why I’m saying: When is the time gonna come? 2025 is too late for me, as I see it, for all workers across the country. “

Overall, the EPI report finds that the $15 increase by 2025 would have resulted in an annual pay increase of $3,300 for those working year-round.

Read the original article on Business Insider

McDonald’s has reportedly been collecting ‘strategic intelligence’ on unionizing workers as they fight for a $15 minimum wage

mcdonald's strike workers
McDonald’s workers have been organizing protests calling for higher pay.

McDonald’s has reportedly been collecting information on workers campaigning for a $15 federal minimum wage, including using a team of intelligence analysts to track employees’ social media.

The company has been gathering information for years, using intelligence analysts at its Chicago and London offices to track workers linked to activist groups that advocate higher wages, better working conditions, and unionization, Vice’s Motherboard reported.

This includes monitoring the Fight for $15 campaign and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to find out which McDonald’s workers are active in the movement, Motherboard reported, citing documents it had viewed as well as two McDonald’s workers with direct knowledge of the surveillance.

This is despite McDonald’s announcing in 2019 it would no longer lobby against minimum wage regulation.

“This story is laden with false information, pulling together disparate pieces of information to build a sensationalist narrative that is inaccurate and misleading,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told Insider.

The company denied using fake social media accounts to gather information, and said its intelligence team is focused on threats to safety, such as natural disasters and civil unrest. The company uses publicly available information, the spokesperson added.

Fight for $15, which is financed by the SEIU, has been staging walkouts since 2012 to advocate for an increase in the minimum wage. The group has targeted McDonald’s in particular, whose workers have been organizing protests calling for higher pay.

Documents viewed by Motherboard outline the aims of McDonald’s intelligence services, including collecting “political intelligence on difficult political landscapes in complex markets that could cause significant business disruption,” and finding out “how and where will FF$15 attack the brand.”

One of the reports seen by Motherboard addressed “Ongoing FF$15 Activity Against McDonald’s During the COVID-19 Crisis.” It included information like the number of in-person and “virtual” protests the group had held and the amount of advance warning staff gave employers of their strike action.

And since at least last year, the fast-food giant has been collecting online data to monitor social media accounts, the sources told Motherboard. This includes reconstructing the friends lists of those involved in the labor movement, and using fake Facebook profiles, the sources said.

McDonald’s wanted to find out “where the key players are, and who they know,” a former corporate employee at the company told Motherboard. 

A McDonald’s spokesperson denied those allegations, telling Insider the company “has never used fake social media accounts to actively gather information, including labor activity.”

The intelligence team is “solely focused on identifying threats to safety, including natural disasters and civil unrest, that could pose harm to employees and franchisees,” the spokesperson said.

The company uses “publicly available information, in full compliance with the law and with our own ethical standards,” they added.

McDonald’s worker Gloria Machuca, who earns $9.50 an hour, told Insider’s Juliana Kaplan that the minimum wage increase would change her life. Until recently she worked 80-hour weeks across two different McDonald’s branches to support her six children.

“It is not fair that we work so much and that we have to suffer this much,” she said.

In response to Motherboard’s report, Machuca told the publication that workers are “not afraid” and that news of the information gathering won’t stop them.

“These desperate efforts by McDonald’s only show the power of the movement that we’ve built over the past eight years,” she added.

Motherboard’s report comes as President Joe Biden pushes for a $15 federal minimum wage.

The federal minimum wage, currently $7.25, has not been raised in more than a decade, but Biden’s attempts face opposition from both Republicans and Democrats.

Companies are increasingly taking the matter into their own hands. Among those that have raised, or announced plans to raise, their hourly minimum wage to $15 or higher are WayfairStarbucksTargetAmazon, and Costco.

A national minimum wage of $15 would mean around one in five Americans earns more, the Economic Policy Institute found. It could also help reduce income equality, its research found, with women, minorities, and frontline workers benefiting the most.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Most Americans support a $15 minimum wage, but are split on how soon it should happen

fight for 15 minimum wage protest
Demonstrators participate in a protest outside McDonald’s corporate headquarters on January 15, 2021, in Chicago.

  • Over 60% of Americans definitely or probably support raising the minimum wage to $15, an Insider poll found.
  • Results came down along party lines; Democrats were more likely to support the increase.
  • But the poll found more Americans support a gradual increase to $15 by 2025.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Over 60% of respondents in a new Insider poll would definitely or probably support a $15 minimum wage. 

That increase –which would give 32 million Americans a raise – is currently a hot topic in Washington. Democrats, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), are pushing for the increase to be included in reconciliation package for President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus relief plan.

While Biden has reiterated his support for the increase, he’s also reportedly signaled that he’s not optimistic it’ll make it into reconciliation – and two Democratic senators seem to agree.

Outside of Washington, though, the $15 minimum wage seems to have strong support, and it has for years. A 2019 Insider poll found that 63% of respondents supported or strongly supported an increase. Since then, the economy and low-wage employment have been ravaged by the pandemic.

In Insider’s most recent poll, participants were asked: Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour?

  • Of the 1,130 respondents, 44% said they would definitely support the increase, while 21% said they probably would.
  • Conversely, 15% of respondents said they probably wouldn’t support it, 17% said they definitely wouldn’t, and 4% didn’t know. 

Party affiliations seemed to play a role in responses:

  • 58% of respondents who said they would probably vote in their state’s Democratic primaries or caucuses would “definitely” support an increase to $15 an hour.
  • But 28% of likely Republican voters would “definitely” support the increase.
  • Conversely, 9% of likely Democratic voters “definitely would not support” the raise, while 32% of likely Republican voters “definitely would not support it.”

There was also some divide along generational lines:

  • 52% of respondents between 30 and 44 “definitely would support” the increase, the highest percentage among age groups.
  • Meanwhile, 25% of respondents over the age of 60 “definitely would not support” the raise.

The current Democratic plans would gradually increase the federal minimum to $15 by 2025. Respondents to Insider’s poll were asked: If the federal minimum wage was increased to $15 per hour, do you have a preference about how that would be implemented?

  • 39% said that, if the increase were to happen, the “$15 minimum wage should be implemented immediately.”
  • But 50% would “prefer a phased rollout, gradually raising the minimum wage annually to $15 in 2025.”

When it comes to raising the minimum wage, it seems that slow and steady wins the race.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,154 respondents February 22, 2021 with a 3 percentage point margin of error.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Why Democrats want to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025

Bernie Sanders minimum wage
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the Raise The Wage Act in the Rayburn Room at the Capitol January 16, 2019. in Washington, DC.

  • Democrats are proposing raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025.
  • The gradual increase would help businesses and lower-wage areas adjust to a higher minimum.
  • In some states, $15 is more than double the current rate — just 29 states have rates above the federal minimum.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

There’s been a lot of discussion around raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Currently, there’s two possible routes for Democrats to pass the wage hike: as a standalone bill or through reconciliation. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has indicated that reconciliation – where the bill could pass with only Democrats’ votes in the Senate – is his preferred route.

But both versions of passing the increase would see the minimum wage get to $15 only gradually, after several years. Under the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, the minimum wage would gradually increase to $15 until 2025. Then it would be indexed to median wage growth.

For some, that delay to $15 is jarring. President Joe Biden said throughout his campaign – and in a presidential debate – that he supported a $15 minimum wage, but at the time he didn’t provide a timeline for that rollout.

When Biden recently reiterated his support for the measure at a CNN town hall, he stressed the importance of a gradual increase. He also reportedly told governors the increase likely won’t be included in his stimulus package.

“President Biden campaigned on the promise of a $15-per-hour minimum wage, and to hear him backpedal on that promise and propose a gradual increase over time is disheartening,” Cynthia Murray, a Walmart worker for over 20 years and member leader with United for Respect, wrote in a statement to Insider. “We know that $15 an hour is the bare minimum of what workers need to survive.”

So why a gradual increase?

Ben Zipperer, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), said that $15 in 2025 would be an “appropriate” level since it would put a dent in “poverty wages.”

“There is a kind of a large hole that we’ve dug ourselves in having low minimum wages relative to what workers need,” he told Insider. “And so then I think it does make sense to have some kind of gradual set of increases, because you do want to give time for some businesses to accommodate the higher wage schedule.”

Researcher Yannet Lathrop of the National Employment Law Project previously told Insider that a gradual increase makes sense, as in some states a $15 minimum wage is more than double the current rate. She said that, if their minimums were closer to $15, it would make sense to do the increase in one or two steps.

However, that’s not the case in many states. Currently, 16 states have the same minimum wage as the federal rate of $7.25, and five default to the federal minimum. That means just 29 states have rates above the federal minimum.

Minimum wages have stayed low for a long time

Broadly, Zipperer said, minimum wage increases used to be more frequent and roughly track the productivity of the economy. But that slowly came to a halt by the 1980s, when there were very few minimum wage increases – leading to a fall in value of the minimum wage. It hasn’t caught up since.

“Had we continued since the 1960s to increase minimum wages in accordance with the productivity of the economy, the minimum wage today would be over $20 an hour,” Zipperer said. “So the money is there. The economy can support much higher wages. It’s just that we’ve effectively redistributed that money away from low-wage workers towards the highest-paid people in the economy.”

And while a minimum wage increase is one step towards addressing that, Zipperer said it’ll take a “larger set” of policies such as higher taxes on higher income and stronger collective bargaining rights to correct this dynamic.

When it comes to workers like Murray expressing disappointment over how long it’ll take to actually receive that raise, Zipperer said he “can’t disagree with that.” Groups like Fight for 15 have been advocating for higher minimum wages for years.

“It is a really a negative mark on this country that we have kept minimum wages so low for so long,” he said. “We have a very large hole to climb out of if we’re going to actually pay people decent wages. And that is the product of decades of infrequent and inadequate minimum wage increases.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

5 maps and charts show what a $15 minimum wage would really mean for workers across America

minimum wage protest
A group of BLM demonstrators protest the Federal Reserve Bank about $15 minimum wage in NYC to solidarity nationwide in Lower Manhattan at the financial district in New York, United States on July 20, 2020

  • The fight to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour is gaining major traction.
  • Insider has been covering the potential impacts, value, and current wages.
  • These five graphics show the current state of the minimum wage and what a $15 minimum could mean.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The fight for a $15 minimum wage is not a new one.

But it’s increasingly gained traction as Democrats push for it amidst other pandemic recovery measures, and the House and Senate are under Democratic control for the first time in years. President Joe Biden has been an outspoken supporter, reiterating his views again on Tuesday. 

Biden talked about his support for a gradual raise to a federal $15 minimum wage during a CNN town hall on Tuesday after an audience member expressed concern on what raising the minimum wage would mean for business owners like himself, particularly in the Midwest. 

“I do support a $15 minimum wage,” Biden said during the town hall. “I think there is equally as much, if not more, evidence to dictate that it would grow the economy and, long run and medium run, benefit small businesses as well as large businesses, and it would not have such a dilatory effect. But that’s a debatable issue.”

Biden said the concerns of business owners for how this rate changes are “totally legitimate,” but stressed the importance of a gradual raise.

“We’re at $7.25 an hour. No one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty,” he said.

While a majority of Americans support the $15 minimum wage, per Insider polling, it’s still a contentious measure. There are concerns over potential employment losses and the big picture impacts.

A minimum wage increase would raise pay for 32 million workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Although it would likely be beneficial for millions of Americans, the Congressional Budget Office found that this hike would lift 900,000 Americans out of poverty but could also mean a loss of 1.4 million jobs.

A recent small business poll by CNBC and SurveyMonkey of over 2,000 small business owners also found that one-third of owners reported that they would have to lay off workers if the federal minimum wage rose to this hourly rate.

There is some opposition to the minimum wage being part of the $1.9 trillion federal relief package, including from two Democratic senators. If the increase is not part of the American Rescue Plan, then it could still be a standalone bill.  

To get a closer look at the benefits of raising the minimum wage, Insider looked at the minimum wage as it currently stands and when it may be $15 using various metrics, such as a state’s cost of living or the ratio between a minimum wage and a median wage.

The following maps and table take a closer look at the value of the current minimum wage and a proposed $15 minimum wage:

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009; here’s when every state last increased their minimum wage.

Currently, 29 states have wages above the federal minimum, and 16 states are at the federal minimum. Five states default to the federal minimum, since they don’t have any minimum wage requirements.

The last time a state saw a minimum wage increase varies. Some minimum wage workers haven’t been paid a higher wage since the last time the federal raise was increased on July 24, 2009 as part of a three-step increase mandated by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007.

Other states have been increasing their minimum wages over the years. Nineteen states raised their minimum wages on January 1, and New York state raised its minimum wage on December 31. 

On Tuesday, minimum wage workers in 15 cities held a Black History Month strike for a $15 minimum wage. Almost one-third of Black workers in America would get a raise from the proposed increase.

Read Insider’s full story on the last time every state had a minimum wage increase here

A common way to look at the minimum wage is to compare it to the median wage.

The median wage is the wage at which half of workers are paid more, and half are paid less. Comparing the minimum wage to the median wage can help identify how states will benefit from a boost to the minimum wage.

The ratio of the minimum wage to the median wage is called the Kaitz index. The higher the ratio — meaning the more people making close to the minimum wage — the more people will benefit from a minimum wage raise, since those near-minimum wage workers are likely to see their pay increase.

To estimate this ratio, we used current minimum wages and the median wages in 2019 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics program

For example, New York’s median wage per the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019 was $22.44, and the current minimum wage is $12.50, meaning the minimum wage in New York is 55.7% of its median wage.

Meanwhile, Texas’ minimum wage is much smaller than its median wage compared to New York. Texas’ minimum wage of $7.25 is 39.7% of its median wage of $18.28.

Read Insider’s full story on the Kaitz index here

It is possible to also look at this ratio with a $15 minimum wage to see how that rate would stack up against what a typical worker earns in every state.

Insider similarly used the median wage of every state to calculate the ratio of a $15 minimum wage to the state’s median wage. If the minimum wage was raised to $15, it would be over 60% of the median wage in every state.

For instance, a $15 minimum wage in Massachusetts would be 62.1% of its median wage in 2019 of $24.14, the lowest ratio among the states because Massachusetts has the highest median wage.

Read Insider’s full story on the Kaitz index here

But $15 wouldn’t go as far in states with higher costs of living compared to states with lower costs of living.

A $15 minimum wage will mean something different depending on where you live and work. Some states and cities are more expensive to live in than others. This map shows how much a $15 minimum wage will be worth in each state, based on an adjusted value using regional price parities.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ regional price parities show the price of goods and services relative to the national average.

This means states with higher regional price parities than the national average, like Hawaii and California, would mean the value of $15 is worth less than the US average value of $15. On the other hand, states with lower regional price parities, like Mississippi and New Mexico, would mean the value of $15 is worth more than $15 at the national average.

Read Insider’s full story on how much $15 is worth in every state here

Assuming a 2% inflation rate over the next few years, a $15 minimum wage in 2025 would be the same as around $13.90 today.

Even if an increase to the federal minimum wage isn’t passed soon, there are several states that have scheduled increases rising to an eventual $15 minimum wage. In California, minimum wage workers at places with 26 or more employees will see a $15 minimum wage as soon as next year.

Florida, where a supermajority of voters supported a ballot measure during the election that would raise the minimum wage to $15, will see annual increases that will reach that level in 2026.

Target inflation is 2%, and under this scenario, a federal minimum wage of $15 in 2025 is the same as about $13.86 in 2021. 

“I think that under all current forecasts of how inflation is going to play out over the next four years, it wouldn’t be worth that much less in 2025 than it’s worth now,” Harvard PhD scholar Anna Stansbury told Insider.

Read Insider’s full story on what a $15 minimum wage would be in 2021, for the federal minimum wage and several states gradually increasing the minimum wage to $15, here

Read the original article on Business Insider

Every state raising its minimum wage in 2021

minimum wage protest
A group of BLM demonstrators protest about $15 minimum wage in Lower Manhattan’s financial district on July 20, 2020.

Some hourly workers will see larger paychecks in 2021. Twenty states already increased their minimum wages at the start of the year, and several more will see boosts in the coming months. 

Workers in New Mexico will get the largest bump. They’ll receive an additional $1.50 an hour, with the state’s hourly wage now cracking four digits. 

Overall, the movement to increase the minimum wage saw major gains in 2020, and the federal minimum wage could see a major boost in 2021: President-elect Joe Biden’s new stimulus plan would boost the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“Nobody working 40 hours a week should be living below the poverty line,” Biden said in a speech Thursday.

As Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig noted in an analysis, raising the minimum wage has not consistently negatively impacted employment – and could put more money in the pockets of 27 million workers.

A 2019 Pew Research Center poll found that 67% of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour; Insider polling from 2019 also found that 63% of respondents supported the increase. 

A record-breaking number of jurisdictions will increase their minimum wages in 2021, according to a report from the National Unemployment Law Project. Here’s where workers are already getting paid more – and where they will soon.

In Alaska, the minimum wage rose by $0.15 to $10.34 effective January 1.

Anchorage, Alaska.

The increase is part of an annual adjustment for inflation, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Arizona’s minimum wage also increased annually for inflation, going from $12 to $12.15.

The city of Flagstaff has its own higher minimum wage.

Per the Economic Policy Institute, the city of Flagstaff actually has its own, higher minimum wage. In 2021, the minimum wage in Flagstaff will be $15.

In Arkansas, the minimum wage increased from $10 to $11 effective January 1.

Highway in Arkansas in 2010.

The raise comes from a 2018 ballot measure.

In California, the minimum wage increased from $13 to $14 effective January 1.

irvine california
Irvine, California.

From 2017 on, the minimum wage has increased yearly.

In Colorado, the minimum wage increased from $12 to $12.32.

Aspen Colorado

After the minimum wage reached $12 in January 2020, the state now adjusts annually for cost of living.

Connecticut is set to increase the minimum wage from $12 to $13 on August 1.

Norwich Connecticut
Norwich, Connecticut.

The wage will gradually increase until it’s $15 in 2023.

On January 1, the minimum wage in Florida increased from $8.56 to $8.65. It will increase to $10 effective September 30.

Florida Keys, Florida
Florida Keys, Florida.

Florida is incrementally raising its minimum wage to $15 by 2026, making it the most conservative state to do so, as Insider previously reported.

In Illinois, the minimum wage increased from $10 to $11.

Chicago Theater
Chicago has its own minimum wage.

Illinois also has two areas with different minimum wages, according to the Economic Policy Institute: Chicago and its surrounding Cook County. In Chicago, the minimum wage will increase from $14 to $15 on July 1. In Cook County, the minimum wage of $13 will see an annual increase on July 1 tied to the consumer price index.

In Maine, the minimum wage increased from $12 to $12.15.

Freeport Maine
Freeport, Maine.

It’s the first annual increase for cost of living.

In Maryland, the minimum wage increased from $11 to $11.75 effective January 1.

Lexington Park Maryland
Lexington Park, Maryland.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, Maryland also has two areas with different minimum wages: Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

On July 1, the minimum wage in Montgomery County will increase from $14 to $15. Prince George’s County had its own minimum wage of $11.50 until January 1, when it changed to Maryland’s state rate.

In Massachusetts, the minimum wage increased from $12.75 to $13.50 effective January 1.

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts.

The minimum wage will increase by an additional $.75 in 2022 and in 2023.

In Minnesota, the minimum wage rose from $10 to $10.08 effective January 1.

Red Wing, Minnesota
Red Wing, Minnesota.

The rate was adjusted for inflation.

In Missouri, the minimum wage increased from $9.45 to $10.30 effective January 1.

st louis highway
Light traffic in St. Louis.

The minimum wage will increase by $0.85 again in 2022 and 2023.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, both Kansas City and St. Louis passed their own minimum wage ordinances in 2015, although their rates are the same as the state’s.

In Montana, the minimum wage increased from $8.65 to $8.75.

whitefish montana
Whitefish, Montana.

Gov. Steve Bullock said the wage is tied to inflation.

In Nevada, the minimum wage is set to increase from $9 to $9.75.

Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada.

The wage will gradually increase to $12 in 2024.

In New Jersey, the minimum wage increased from $11 to $12.

Camden, New Jersey
Camden, New Jersey.

The state’s minimum wage will increase by $1 each year until hitting $15 in 2024.

In New Mexico, the minimum wage increased from $9 to $10.50.

Taos, New Mexico
Taos, New Mexico.

The state minimum wage will gradually increase through 2023, when it will become $12.

In New York, the minimum wage increased from $11.80 to $12.50, effective December 31, 2020.

New York City
New York City.

In New York City, the minimum wage is $15, and in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties the minimum wage increased from $13 to $14 on December 31, 2020, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

In Ohio, the minimum wage increased from $8.70 to $8.80.

Dayton Ohio
Dayton, Ohio.

The state had an annual increase on January 1.

In Oregon, the minimum wage is set to increase from $12 to $12.75 on July 1.

Eugene Oregon
Eugene, Oregon.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, both the Portland Urban Growth Boundary and non-urban counties have different minimum wages. (Under state law, each metropolitan area has such a land use planning line around its perimeter, to control urban expansion.)

In the Portland Urban Growth Boundary, the minimum wage will increase from $13.25 to $14.50 on July 1. And in non-urban counties, the minimum wage will increase from $11.50 to $12 on July 1.

In South Dakota, the minimum wage increased from $9.30 to $9.45.

Pierre South Dakota
Pierre, South Dakota.

The state had an annual increase on January 1.

In Vermont, the minimum wage increased from $10.96 to $11.75.

Montpelier Vermont
Montpelier, Vermont.

The wage rose as part of annual indexing.

In Virginia, the minimum wage is set to increase from $7.25 to $9.50 on May 1.

Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia.

The wage will gradually increase until it is $15 in 2026.

In Washington, the minimum wage increased from $13.50 to $13.69.

Olympia Washington
Olympia, Washington.

The state adjusts the wage each year with a cost-of-living increase.

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