Minimum Wages Are Going Up. Low-Paid Workers Probably Won’t Notice.

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Low-paid workers might not notice that 22 states are increasing the minimum wage to start the year. The reason: Robust raises in recent years have rendered pay floors largely irrelevant, even in states that aggressively lifted them.

At the turn of each year, many states lift the minimum wage to adjust for the cost of living or to meet requirements in the law. Before the pandemic, that often meant a welcomed raise for low-wage workers, but labor shortages in recent years caused paychecks for many cooks, housekeepers and grocery clerks to rise faster than required by states. Meanwhile, the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage, followed in 20 states, has been unchanged since 2009.

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