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Here are the New Minimum Wages in 22 States and D.C.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are slated to increase the minimum wage for employees starting January 2019 from $8 to $15 an hour or thereabouts.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are slated to increase the minimum wage for employees starting January 2019 from $8 to $15 an hour or thereabouts. In addition, 38 cities and counties are also scheduled to hike their minimum wages.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) report reveals that more than 17 million workers will benefit from the 2019 wage increases. It said the increases are either due to policies designed to help lower-income workers or are part of regularly scheduled cost-of-living adjustments.

Cost-of-living adjustments are small increases, but at least workers won’t be falling behind inflation in the coming years, said Yannet Lathrop, policy analyst at NELP.

The next step is a wage higher than $15 in more expensive states and cities. Lathrop pointed out that in some parts of the country, $15 is not a living wage, “so folks need to think about a higher wage.”

She noted that Hawaii is already thinking about a $17 minimum wage bill.

Here are the states where the minimum wage is set to rise in 2019.

* Alaska

Current minimum wage: $9.84

2019 minimum wage: $9.89 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Arizona

Current minimum wage: $10.50

2019 minimum wage: $11 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Arkansas

Current minimum wage: $8.50

2019 minimum wage: $9.25 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* California

Current minimum wage: $11 for large employers; $10.50 for small employers

2019 minimum wage: $12 for large employers; $11 for small employers (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Colorado

Current minimum wage: $10.20

2019 minimum wage: $11.10 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Delaware

Current minimum wage: $8.25

2019 minimum wage: $8.75 and then another to $9.25

Effective date: First increase in January; second increase in October

* District of Columbia

Current minimum wage: $13.25

2019 minimum wage: $14 (as of July. 1, 2019)

* Florida

Current minimum wage: $8.25

2019 minimum wage: $8.46 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Maine

Current minimum wage: $10

2019 minimum wage: $11 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Massachusetts

Current minimum wage: $11

2019 minimum wage: $12 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Michigan

Current minimum wage: $9.25

2019 minimum wage: $9.48

Effective date: 90 days after the Michigan legislature adjourns, approximately late March or early April

* Minnesota

Current minimum wage: $9.65 for large employers; $7.87 for small employers

2019 minimum wage: $9.86 for large employers; $8.04 for small employers (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Missouri

Current minimum wage: $7.85

2019 minimum wage: $8.60 (as of Jan. 1, 2019

* Montana

Current minimum wage: $8.30

2019 minimum wage: $8.50 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Nevada

Current minimum wage: $8.25 with no benefits; $7.25 with benefits

2019 minimum wage: The Nevada Labor Commissioner will determine in April whether to increase the state’s minimum wage in 2019 based on a formula in the state constitution. (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* New Jersey

Current minimum wage: $8.60

2019 minimum wage: $8.85 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* New York

Current minimum wage: $13 for large employers in New York City; $12 for small employers in New York City; $11 in Long Island and Westchester County; and $10.40 everywhere else

2019 minimum wage: $15 for large employers in New York City; $13.50 for small employers in New York City; $12 in Long Island and Westchester County; and $11.10 everywhere else

Effective date: Dec. 31, 2018

* Ohio

Current minimum wage: $8.30

2019 minimum wage: $8.55 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

* Oregon

Current minimum wage: $12 in Portland; $10.75 standard; and $10.50 in rural areas

2019 minimum wage: $12.50 in Portland; $11.25 standard; and $11 in rural areas

Effective date: July 1, 2019

* Rhode Island

Current minimum wage: $10.10

2019 minimum wage: $10.50 (as of Jan. 1, 2019

* South Dakota

Current minimum wage: $8.85

2019 minimum wage: $9.10 (as of Jan. 1, 2019

* Vermont

Current minimum wage: $10.50

2019 minimum wage: $10.78 (as of Jan. 1, 2019

* Washington

Current minimum wage: $11.50

2019 minimum wage: $12 (as of Jan. 1, 2019)

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Labor

UK Employers Prefer ‘Job Readiness’ Over Academic Credentials

A surprising new study shows most employers in the United Kingdom place greater weight on “job readiness” instead of formal academic credentials.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

London, United Kingdom (4E) – A surprising new study shows most employers in the United Kingdom place greater weight on “job readiness” instead of formal academic credentials.

The study published in the Journal of Education Policy challenges existing theories that higher levels of formal education determine the result of jobs competition in the UK labor market. It analyzed more than 21 million UK job advertisements based on labor market analytics and found that only 18 percent of job ads specified a qualification requirement.

Employers were also more likely to highlight social qualifications, specific skills and cognitive abilities such as organizational skills or time management in their recruitment ads. These attributes are aspects that signal job readiness.

The study reveals that employers look for a wide range of technical and social skills in new employees. Employers emphasized performance rather than assuming academic squalifications equal the skills they needed, or indicated that candidates would be easier to train.

The focus on job readiness rather than trainability indicates employers are looking for ways to reduce training costs and shorten the time it takes for newly-hired employees to make a productive contribution to the company.

It also emphasizes the need for job candidates to develop marketable skills of immediate value to employers. This outcome helps explain the increasing popularity and importance of high quality internships in Britain.

There is, however, little to suggest that a reduced emphasis on academic credentials will lead to a reduction in class-based inequalities in the competition for jobs.

The study noted that candidates with greater financial, cultural and social resources will likely maintain a major advantage when specific skills and personal traits not a central part of formal education are perceived as an important part of what it means to be job ready.

The study’s findings call for a fresh discussion on the meaning of merit and fairness in the relationship between education and the labor market. This is especially relevant at a time when government reforms in the UK are premised on the assumption that increasing intergenerational social mobility can be achieved by widening access to higher education.

The research was led by Professor Phillip Brown and Professor Manuel Souto-Otero of Cardiff University.

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Labor

Global Wage Growth Falls to Lowest Level in a Decade

Employees around the world aren’t getting the salaries they deserve despite companies raking-in more profits than ever before.

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

Geneva, Switzerland (4E) – Employees around the world aren’t getting the salaries they deserve despite companies raking-in more profits than ever before.

The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Global Wage Report reveals that global wage growth fell to its lowest in almost a decade in 2017. The report found that international wage growth saw a 0.6 percent decline in 2017 based on data from 136 countries.

Surprisingly, the rich G-20 nations saw wage growth fall from 0.9 percent to 0.4 percent between 2016 and 2017. Average wages in advanced G-20 economies only grew by 9% during the period.

Emerging and developing G-20 countries saw wage growth fall from 4.9 percent to 4.3 percent. Average wages in emerging and developing G-20 countries almost tripled over the last 20 years in contrast to the 9% growth in G20 countries.

Wage inequality between genders was also a key issue. This problem was more marked in low and middle-income economies. ILO said wages were frequently insufficient to cover workers’ needs or provide for families in these countries.

ILO Director General Guy Ryder said wage growth was generally seeing a continuous slowdown.

“It’s puzzling that in high-income economies we see slow wage growth alongside a recovery in GDP growth and falling unemployment — and early indications suggest that slow wage growth continues in 2018,” he said.

“Countries should explore, with their social partners, ways to achieve socially and economically sustainable wage growth.”

Earlier this week, a study suggested wage growth could slow in the U.S. if Trump went ahead with the 25% tariffs on Chinese goods. This move will mean households spending an extra $2,400 in 2019 and as much as $17,300 by 2030.

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Labor

Amazon’s European Employees to Protest Inhuman Working Conditions on Black Friday

Angry employees of Amazon.com across Europe will stage coordinated protests today, Black Friday, to protest “inhuman” working conditions at warehouses that also makes them feel like “trapped animals.”

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Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor

London, United Kingdom (4E) – Angry employees of Amazon.com across Europe will stage coordinated protests today, Black Friday, to protest “inhuman” working conditions at warehouses that also makes them feel like “trapped animals.”

The protests will take various forms. In the United Kingdom, protesting employees will air their grievances outside the warehouses while in Spain and Italy workers intnd to go on a 24-hour strike. The biggest protests, however, will occur in the UK.

There will be demonstrations outside five fulfilment centers on Friday. The largest walkout will take place at Rugeley, near Birmingham, where more than 100 employees will join the protest at the warehouse.

Protesters will then march to a rally at the Lea Hall Miners’ Club where shadow work and pensions minister, Jack Dromey, will speak. They want to raise awareness about their plight and get Amazon to the table to talk about worker safety. But it’s the inhuman working conditions at Amazon warehouses that triggered the protests.

“They treat us like disposable parts,” said a warehouse worker. Another employee said, Amazon is an awful place to work. This person said employees can’t voice an opinion, and feel like a trapped animal with lack of support and respect.

British trade union GMB, which is supporting the protestors, said that working conditions at Amazon are “frankly inhuman.” They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances, alleges the union.

Poring over government records, GMB discovered in June that ambulances were called out 600 times to 14 Amazon warehouses over the past three years. At the Rugeley warehouse, ambulances were called out 115 times over that period for electric shocks, bleeding, chest pains, and major trauma.

GMB said that at a similar sized supermarket distribution warehouse a few miles away, there were just eight call outs during the same period.

Amazon responded to the planned protests by claiming all its warehouses are safe places to work and reports to the contrary “are simply wrong.”

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