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Minimum-Wage Increases Could Impact Self-Storage Operators in 25 States

Self-storage employees in 25 states and Washington, D.C., could make more money in 2022 thanks to minimum-wage increases this year. In all, increases in 20 states took effect on Jan. 1, with three (Connecticut, Nevada and Oregon) scheduled for July 1, and Florida slated for Sept. 30. New York’s increase went into effect on Dec. 31, according to payroll-software company Paycor.

The increases range from as little as 22 cents in Michigan to as high as $1.50 in Virginia. Six states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and New Mexico—bumped minimum rates by $1, while Delaware increased its minimum wage by $1.25, according to a report published by Ballotpedia, an online encyclopedia focused on American politics and elections.

Wage increases in nine states and Washington, D.C., are tied to changes in inflation, while 16 states scheduled increases as part of an incremental system to reach a target rate. In all, nine states have initiatives for incremental increases with a target wage of $15 by a set date, according to Ballotpedia. California became the first state to reach $15 per hour this year, though the increase applies only to employers with 26 or more workers. California companies with 25 or fewer employees will continue to pay $14 per hour, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

For states whose increases are based on a rise in inflation, the average wage hike this year is 51 cents per hour compared to 16 cents last year. The largest inflation-related bumps are in Washington (80 cents) and Arizona (65 cents), Ballotpedia reported.

Legislatures in at least three states—North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee—are considering wage increases that could go into effect later this year, according to a Jan. 10 newsletter distributed by the national Self Storage Association (SSA).

Annual minimum-wage hikes aren’t unusual. In 2020, 22 states and the District of Columbia posted increases, while 24 states and Washington, D.C., did so last year, according to DOL figures. In contrast, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for nonexempt employees, which applies in 20 states, hasn’t changed since 2009. Five of those states—Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee—don’t have state-mandated minimum-wage requirements, so the federal law takes precedence.

The DOL offers a clickable map on its website that displays the minimum-wage laws for each state.

In some cases, minimum-wage increases in cities and counties may outpace raises at the state level. For example, the New York counties of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester have increased the minimum rate to $15, while employees in New York City began earning $15 per hour two years ago. Wages in counties for the rest of New York increased to $13.20 per hour on Dec. 31, according to the SSA. Across the nation, Seattle has the highest minimum wage at $17.27 per hour, though companies with 500 or fewer employees pay $15.75.

In general, the wage hikes aren’t expected to have a significant impact on self-storage operators. “Most operators across the industry report that they pay much better than the minimum wage,” the SSA reported, “but a rising floor for all workers means wages across the economy adjust upward when minimums increase.”

Sources:
SSA Magazine Weekly 1/10/22, Minimum Wage Increases Impact Storage Industry
Ballotpedia, Minimum Wage Increases in 25 States in 2022
Paycor, Minimum Wage by State and 2022 Increases
U.S. Department of Labor, State Minimum Wage Laws

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