minimumwage

Mark Leavitt will have to pay his employees an extra dollar an hour beginning Jan. 1. | The Salem News

Nearly half the states in the country will up their minimum wage beginning Jan. 1, in a move that employees of small businesses such as car washes are anticipating, and business owners might be worrying about. It means that about 4.4 million low-wage workers will see an increase in just a few days, according to the Wall Street Journal. The new minimum wages will vary by state, but for workers in Massachusetts the raise is a full dollar.

In Massachusetts, the minimum wage will rise $1, to $11 an hour, a change that affects about 291,000 workers. In California, the minimum goes up 50 cents, to $10.50 an hour, boosting pay for 1.7 million individuals.

The Salem News reported that for one car wash, the dollar increase from $10 to $11 means some of the six employees at Salem Car Wash will see a bump while others are currently paid more than $11. The state has raised its minimum wage from $9 to $11 over the past three years.

The owner, Mark Leavitt said that while it will be tough to pay his workers more, he’s in favor of the raise. And to be fair, he plans to give a raise to everyone on his staff, not just the guys making less than $11 now. He said he does not plan to increase prices for his services as a result, which makes the increase even tougher. But that’s the plight small businesses like his face, he said.

Other states raising the minimum wage include Ohio, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan and California, among many others.