Pennsylvania joins at least twenty-five other states in raising the minimum wage by 2024

Politics, state politics

Jada Urbaez, Staff

Pennsylvania joins at least twenty-five other states as they all raise the minimum wage for state workers this year. Effective last Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, the minimum wage for Pennsylvania state workers increased to $15 per hour. 

Back in 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf proposed that the minimum wage would increase annually by $.50, which would have been on track to pay workers $15 per hour by the year 2024. Pennsylvania has sped up the process and is two years early, considering it is only 2022 and the wage has increased tremendously. 

State workers will exclusively receive these benefits for the time being, not the general public. State workers include any individual that is employed by the Pennsylvania government such as workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles or other government services. 

The minimum wage for other workers remains at $7.25, which has not changed in 13 years. The last notable increase took place in 2008, when it raised from $6.25 per hour to $7.15 per hour. Then, in 2010, it went up by .$10, to where it is now at $7.25 per hour. Governor Wolf says that the standstill in the hourly pay rate is “an embarrassment” and plans to increase it drastically to $12 by July 1, following a $.50 raise annually. That is… if the majority Republican Pennsylvania General Assembly follows through with the governor’s goals for the state’s citizens. 

Pennsylvania currently sits at the 30th state in the United States in terms of the highest offered minimum wage. The federal minimum wage sits at $7.25 per hour, which is the current minimum wage not only in Pennsylvania but in other states including Oklahoma, Kansas and Idaho. Two adults with no children’s poverty wage is $8.29 an hour, by comparison.

The recent discussions around the nation regarding the pros and cons of raising wages have caused much disagreement and back and forth amongst people. Many express that increasing pay rates would result in higher prices of goods and services, which could possibly lead to hyperinflation. Others think this is untrue, and providing workers with a liveable wage could mean raising income for workers so they could afford day-to-day expenses, be financially stable and stress-free, which, in their opinion, far outweighs the possibility of rapid inflation.

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