While running for president in the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders proposed an increase to the minimum wage. Since then, he has continued to highlight the fact that many Americans live on just the minimum wage and that it is not a livable wage. Many people laughed at the $15 proposal at the time and it led to heated debates on social media, but since then, many states have put measures in place to increase the minimum wage in small increments. Among those states is Michigan.
In fact, by the end of 2018, NBC News reported that eight states would begin the process of gradually increasing wages to anywhere from $12 to $15 per hour. Michigan fell among the remaining states who had lower per-hour aims, but which would also increase the minimum wage in 2019. In addition to this, another 13 counties and cities hiked their minimum wage to $15 per hour. These minimum wage spikes helped increase the standard of living by however small a rate for 17 million U.S. workers.
According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the current aim is to increase the minimum hourly wage for employees to $9.87 by January 2021. Tipped employees will also see an increase in their minimum hourly base rate to $3.75. The state does, however, point out that if the unemployment rate climbs to 8.5% or more in a calendar year, the minimum wage increase may not take place.
The first scheduled increase took place in January 2018. For this year, the scheduled increase took effect on March 20, 2019. It bumped the minimum wage up by 20 cents from $9.25 to $9.45 per hour. For people working a 40-hour shift each week with no tips or overtime, this will lead to an extra $416 in their pockets by the end of the year.