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Push for $20 Minimum Wage in US States Amidst Inflation: Will it Help or Hurt?

Push for $20 Minimum Wage in US States Amidst Inflation: Will it Help or Hurt?
The minimum pay for health professionals in California would increase to $25 per hour under a proposed bill. (Photo: https://madison.com/)

The campaign for a $20 minimum wage has gathered traction in a number of jurisdictions throughout the US in response to growing inflation.

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ALBANY: Just a few years after labor activists convinced a few states to raise their minimum wage to $15 per hour, employees who were initially ecstatic about the pay increase are finding that their hard-won gains have been eliminated by inflation. (Photo: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/)

The $20 Minimum Wage

The initiative seeks to give workers a livable wage that keeps up with the nation’s rising cost of living. Politicians, economists, and business executives have all expressed disagreement over the suggested rise in the minimum wage. Many workers contend that given the current economic context, a $20 minimum wage is necessary to survive.

Recent studies state that many workers are finding it hard to make ends meet due to the rising cost of food, housing, and other necessities. Additionally, the COVID-19 epidemic has had a knock-on effect across other industries, resulting in wage gaps and employment losses in a number of sectors. Critics counter that the economy would suffer as a result of a $20 minimum wage.

Business leaders assert that raising the minimum wage could lead to job losses since businesses could have to reduce their workforces in order to balance the higher labor costs. Higher unemployment rates could result from this, which would further harm the economy.

READ ALSO: Surviving Inflation: 20 Smart Ways to Invest and Manage Your Money

Debate over $20 Minimum Wage Rages on Among Lawmakers

On this matter, policymakers have differing opinions. While some consider a $20 minimum wage to be essential for addressing income inequality and promoting economic growth, others are concerned that it might cause inflation and weaken the value of the currency.

Several states have already begun adopting the $20 minimum wage regulation in spite of the ongoing discussions. California became the first state to require a $20 minimum wage for employees of major businesses with 26 or more employees in January 2023. Additionally, New York has stated that it intends to raise its minimum wage to $20 per hour by 2026.

Some of the top firms in the nation are supporting the call for a $20 minimum wage. The biggest online retailer in the world, Amazon, declared that it would raise its employees’ minimum pay to $20 per hour. Other businesses have also increased their minimum pay to $15 per hour, including Target and Walmart.

In conclusion, efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $20 have spurred discussions among lawmakers, economists, and business executives.

READ ALSO: Potential Impact of COLA and Increased Spending on Inflation in Social Security 2023

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