Minimum wage boosts in 2019 come six years after the launch of the Fight for $15 movement, in which fast food workers in New York City sought pay increases. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Nineteen states and 21 cities will begin the new year with minimum wage increases, with dozens more jurisdictions slated for pay boosts later in 2019, an analysis from the National Employment Law Project said.
A number of jurisdictions plan to phase in their minimum wage increases over a multi-year period. The organization said that once all planned pay boosts are fully in effect, some 17 million Americans will see an increase in pay.
"Minimum wage increases resonate strongly with so many Americans because people feel like they're working harder than ever but have little to show for it," said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, upon the report's release Thursday. "Working people are struggling to pay their bills, but they see that it's the corporations and the wealthy CEOs who are getting the tax breaks. It's just not right."
The boosts come six years after the launch of the Fight for $15 movement in which New York City fast food workers demonstrated for a $15-per-hour minimum wage. The movement caught on in other cities and industries across the United States.
In 2019, 17 cities and counties will raise the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour.
"The American people believe in the value of work -- and that workers deserve to be valued. That's why there's such strong support for raising the minimum wage. People believe it's the right thing to do, and they understand it's one of the best ways to lift the incomes of working families who really need that money," Owens said.
The National Employment Law Project wage protests were expected at the federal and state levels over the next two years. Advocates are calling for a $15 per hour at the federal level and in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and Vermont. Nevada is seeking $14 and Hawaii is seeking $17.