In part because of Bidenflation, the minimum wage is going up in 23 states and Washington D.C. this month. One way to keep inflation high is to mandate a higher wage than would apply under market conditions.
The federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour but many Blue States are at or will soon be reaching a $15 an-hour wage floor. That includes Washington state ($15.74), California ($15.50), and Massachusetts ($15). They will be joined by Connecticut this summer and New Jersey next year.
California’s legislature tried to raise its minimum wage to as high as $22 an hour for fast-food workers, but that move has been blocked pending a voter referendum on the issue.
Even Nebraska voters approved an increase in the minim wage from $9 an hour to $10.50 last November. Gradual increases will increase the rate to $15 an hour by 2026.
A high min wage drives up the unemployment of teenagers and the least skilled adult workers. The effects are not especially negative when the job market is strong, but it’s a killer if we go into recession and layoffs start coming.