Another Texas Brag: We’re Still No. 1 in Minimum-wage Workers (by Far)

Low-income workers in dozens of locales are getting a New Year’s treat: a pay raise.Nineteen states and 21 cities just raised their minimum wage, some to as high as $15 an hour. Later this year, three more states and 18 cities will follow suit, according to a report by the National Employment Law Project in New York. Several Republican-led states, including Missouri, Arkansas and Arizona, are on the bandwagon.But Texas’ lowest-paid workers won’t be getting any such boost. Not unless the Legislature, which convenes on Tuesday, reverses years of opposition to such measures. Or if Washington increases the federal minimum wage for the first time in over a decade.Both seem to be a long shot, although the issue will get plenty of attention in Austin and Washington — and the media.The question is how much it still matters. Fewer workers are getting the minimum, in part because a booming economy and tight labor market have driven up pay. That’s the case even in states that haven’t increased their minimum wage.In 2012, Texas had 452,000 workers making the minimum wage or less, according to federal data. By 2017, that number had fallen to 196,000, despite a slight increase in hourly workers.  Continue reading...

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