December 29, 2021
New Jersey and Delaware are among over 20 states gearing up for a minimum wage increase set to take place on New Year's Day.
New Jersey's minimum wage will become $13 an hour beginning on Jan. 1, up $1 from the previous year. Their goal to reach $15 by 2024-2027 was signed and approved by Governor Phil Murphy in 2019. Tipped workers will also see their pay increased from $4.13 to $5.13 per hour.
Delaware's minimum wage will be increased to $10.50 per hour, on track for their goal of $15 by 2025. 2022 will mark Delaware's first step toward that goal, though the minimum wage for tipped workers will remain the same at $2.23 per hour.
The bill, which was signed by Delaware Governor John Carney in July, noted that "Delawareans who go to work full time shouldn't be living in poverty."
Other states seeing an increase in their minimum wage in the new year include Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, California, and Rhode Island, according to a December report by the National Employment Law Project.
According to NELP, even more counties and jurisdictions will receive minimum wage increases throughout the year, with many expected to reach or exceed $15 per hour by 2025.
Pennsylvania does not currently have any plans to increase the state's minimum wage in 2022, though Gov. Wolf released a statement ahead of Christmas Day urging the General Assembly to join the growing collection of states who are doing so.
Pennsylvania's minimum wage will remain stagnant at $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal rate.
"Millions of Pennsylvanians – many of them the frontline workers we called heroes in the early days of the pandemic – are struggling to support their families on hourly wages under $15," Wolf said. "The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global economy, and we see that reflected in a very reasonable reluctance of workers to take low-wage jobs in the midst of rising inflation."
A proposed bill would increase Pennsylvania's minimum wage to $12 per hour, with a pathway to an eventual $15. It would also implement annual increases tied to the consumer price index.
NELP does note that seven Pennsylvania businesses did individually increase their minimum wage to $15 per hour. These include Rivers Casino, HipCityVeg, WellSpan Health, Rutter's, Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor, Evangelical Community Hospital, and Geisinger.
Dozens of national companies and chains have also announced plans to increase their minimum wage in the coming years. These include Bank of America's goal of $25 per hour by 2025, PNC's goal of $18 per hour by 2021, and Starbucks, Macy's, and CVS Health's goal of a $15 minimum wage by 2022.