Fifteen percent of working parents in Massachusetts and 19 percent of children in the state will be affected by the $1 minimum wage increase that takes effect this week, according to a new analysis. The Jan. 1 hike from $11 hourly to $12, part of a multi-year phased-in increase to $15 an hour, will benefit some 662,000 workers, for a total wage increase of $817.5 million, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.
The boost in the wage floor is part of a law Gov. Charlie Baker signed early last year that also created a paid family and medical leave program in Massachusetts and instituted an annual sales tax holiday. The law represented a deal struck with advocates to avoid a series of ballot fights. It also institutes an annual series of cuts to the required time-and-a-half pay for workers on Sundays and holidays, the first of which also takes effect Jan. 1.
About a third of workers in the human services sector, two-thirds of food service workers, and 40 percent of retail workers will get raises under the new law, according to the MassBudget analysis.
Nineteen states are set to kick off 2019 with minimum wage hikes, according to the group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.
California and Washington are also raising theirs to $12. The wage hikes will increase pay for 5.3 million workers across the country, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
The increases range from a 5-cent inflation adjustment in Alaska to a $2 per hour increase in New York City. The institute said the increases will boost wages for affected workers by about $5.4 billion.