Number of the Day Shows How Many (or Few) States Back $15 Wage

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Number of the Day

That’s how many states have enacted a $15 minimum wage, now that Florida voters passed a ballot initiative Tuesday.

A supermajority of Florida voters approved an increase in the minimum wage on Election Day, according to the Associated Press, making it the eighth state slated to hit that hourly pay in the coming years. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York are also on their way to imposing a floor of more than double the $7.25 federal minimum, as is Washington, D.C. In Florida, the minimum—now $8.56—will increase to $15 by 2026. 

While the $7.25 applies in 21 states that have the same or lower state-imposed minimum wage (or no state wage at all), Joe Biden, the Democrat vying for the presidency, has lobbied for raising the federal minimum to $15. Republican President Donald Trump supports maintaining the state-imposed minimums.

A minimum wage should not be confused with a living wage, which reflects how much is needed to provide a decent standard of living. In Florida, for example, the minimum wage of $8.56 compares with a living wage of $12.39 for someone with no children, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator. For someone with three children, the living wage is $36.89.

Article Sources

  1. National Conference of State Legislatures. "State Minimum Wages | 2020 Minimum Wage by State." Accessed Nov. 4, 2020.

  2. Florida Division of Elections. "Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage." Accessed Nov. 4, 2020.