Stephen Koppekin Consulting provides cost-effective and efficient consulting solutions in the areas of labor and employment.  With his expert ability to negotiate and his solution-based mindset, Stephen Koppekin shares his vast knowledge on his consulting website.

The start of the new year brings many changes. Resolutions are made and some are kept. New trends may emerge, and oftentimes, new bills and laws on the state and national level are put into effect at the stroke of midnight on January 1.

One of the most highly contested laws in the labor market right now is the law regarding minimum wage. Some labor activists have been calling for a rise in the federal minimum wage to $15.00, just over double what the minimum wage is right now at $7.25. The issue has gained more attention in recent years, and labor activists are having an easier time encouraging action at the lower level among states.

Twenty-one states will increase their minimum wage in 2017. Nineteen states have already enacted their new laws on January 1, and Oregon and Maryland will see increases later in the year. This will give about 4.4 million people in the U.S. a raise this year. So what do the minimum wage increases look like across the country?

The Smallest Raise

Alaska, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio have chosen to increase the minimum wage by only five cents. This is based on the rate of inflation and each state’s Consumer Price Index, which didn’t increase by much in the past year.

The Biggest Raise

Arizona has the biggest minimum raise increase. In 2016 the minimum wage was set at $8.05. For 2017, the minimum wage in the state rose to $10.00! This $1.95 increase is just the first in a series of steps that will push the wage to $12.00 per hour by 2020.

Setting the Sights

With a call to raise the national minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, California is going to be the first state to do so, but slowly. This year, the minimum wage in California is set at $10.50. This will increase to $11.00 in 2018. Then, it will be increased by a dollar each year until 2022, bringing the state to the $15.00 mark.

What’s Up with New Jersey’s Minimum Wage?

New Jersey’s minimum wage increased from $8.38 to $8.44. You may notice that many state’s minimum wages are rounded to the nearest nickel but not New Jersey. Like Alaska, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio, New Jersey bases their minimum wage on the rate of inflation and the state’s Consumer Price Index. But instead of rounding to the nearest nickel, they rounded to the penny.

What are your opinions about the wage increase? Is your state among those that increased the minimum wage? Did your state not increase the minimum wage? Let me know in the comments.

Click here to see a full listing of states that increased their minimum wage for 2017.