2021 brought about some increase in wage rates in the US, but 2022 is expected to deliver even more. Since companies aren’t known for absorbing any increase in expense, this means that visiting a casino in 2022 could cost more, as well.
Wage Increases Coming to the US
According to a report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a worker advocacy organization, 21 states, and 35 counties and cities have plans to increase their minimum wages around January 1. Nevada’s hourly base pay will rise from $9.75 to $10.50 for those who don’t have health insurance and from $8.75 to $9.50 for those who do.
Other places will see an increase in base hourly earnings, such as $11 to $12 for Illinois, $9.25 to $10.50 for Delaware, $9.50 to $11 in Virginia, $12 to $13 in New Jersey for many employees and from $12 to $13 in New Jersey. New Jersey’s increase comes as Atlantic City casinos are set to get significant tax breaks through the PILOT program that has now been signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.
According to NELP, some governments may act later in the year. This means that a record number of 55 localities and 25 states will have raised their pay levels sometime in 2022.
$15 Becoming the New Norm
A $15 per hour minimum wage is now commonplace. This was once viewed as the dream of striking fast-food workers just a few decades ago.
Large employers in California will see the minimum wage rise to $15 on January 1. New York State, where it is already $15 for New York City’s fast-food workers will increase that threshold to Long Island and Westchester County starting on December 31.
On January 1, Denver, CO, jumps from $14.77 to $15.87, and the California cities San Diego, Oakland, and West Hollywood will reach the $15 mark.
In the next few weeks, another 27 cities and towns will rise to $15. Sunnyvale and Mountain View in California both reach $17.10. Seattle is at $17.27 for most companies.
Yannet Lathrop is a researcher at NELP and a policy analyst. She says $15 is just a reasonable living wage for many country areas. She says, “It’s becoming the default minimum.”
According to NELP figures, $15 minimum wage mandates will cover approximately 40% of the US workforce by 2026.
The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009, despite annual increases in inflation and the cost of living. The stagnation is due, in no small part, to Senate Republicans consistently blocking any attempts to increase it.