2018 brought some good news for minimum wage workers across the country: According to the Labor Law Center, 18 states raised their minimum wage between December 31 and January 1.
Some of the states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, New York, and Washington, which are in the process of a gradual wages increase that will eventually get to a total of either $12 or $15 per hour.
The federal minimum wage has remained stagnant at $7.25 per hour since 2009, but as of now there are 29 states with laws mandating higher pay than that. Recent data shows that by 2024 workers will need at least a $15 per hour minimum wage in order to cover basic living expenses.
Wage increases like the ones we just saw benefit everyone, but particularly women, who represent about two-thirds of all minimum wage workers in the country. (In some states, such as North Dakota and Alabama, they make up three-quarters of those workers.)
"Workers across the country are now starting to see the pay increases they’ve been winning through the Fight for $15," Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, said in a statement. "These big raises offer hope for workers – and are inspiring more states and cities to push for big raises for workers at the bottom."
Ahead, a look at the states that just raised their minimum wage rate.