CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The fight for $15 an hour for minimum wage has been going on for years but starting Jan. 1, a few small victories will be celebrated in some states that are raising pay for minimum wage earners.
In fact, the minimum wage is going up in over half of U.S. states.
Let's connect the dots.
The new year brings new wages for millions of workers, with 26 states raising their minimum wage in 2022. California's largest businesses will be required to pay workers a minimum of $15 an hour, a milestone fast food workers have been trying to achieve since 2012.
Parts of New York will also mandate the highest minimum wage of $15 an hour.
But even in places where the minimum wage isn't mandated to hit $15, workers stand to benefit. Many companies are choosing to raise pay on their own because of the tight labor market.
Charlotte-based Bank of America has one of the highest minimum wages at over $21 an hour, and wireless giant T-Mobile will pay its workforce $20 an hour. Costco also raised its minimum wage last year, paying all workers at least $17 an hour starting in October.
But don't look for a mandate to raise pay in the Carolinas. Neither North Carolina nor South Carolina have passed laws to raise minimum wage, leaving both states at the federal standard of $7.25 an hour, which was established in 2009.
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