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By Mark Hamstra
Nation's Restaurant News, Jan 4, 2023. Also in Supermarket News, Restaurant Hospitality, Retail Wit.

... The Seattle-Tacoma area has the nation’s highest minimum wage at $19.06, but several other cities have minimum wages approaching that level, and three states — Washington, California and now Massachusetts — have minimum wages of $15 or higher. Washington, D.C., also has a minimum wage of $16.10, higher than any state, and it is scheduled to increase to $17 per hour on July 1.

The state with the biggest minimum wage hike this year was Nebraska, which went up $1.50, to $10.50 an hour. Voters there recently approved a ballot initiative that will raise the minimum wage by $1.50 each year to $15 by 2026, with adjustments thereafter to reflect purchasing power.

... While businesses have often opposed minimum wage increases, some have been supportive of the efforts. One group, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, is pushing for a federal minimum wage of $15 by 2025.

“Minimum wage increases are a great boost for the new year,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, in a statement.  “These needed raises don’t stay in workers’ pockets. They energize communities, as workers and their families have more to spend at local businesses.”

The increases also result in lower employee turnover, increased productivity, and better customer service, she said. ...

Meanwhile, several states have increases scheduled for later this year, according to Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, including ...

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