Over Half Of The US Doesn't Think Federal Minimum Wage Is Enough

Seattle Vote to Raise Minimum Wage

Flickr / Eino Sierpe

This summer, the Seattle City Council voted to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour, the highest in the country.

Looks like the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour just isn't cutting it in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

In all four of these states, a majority of voters voted yes on Tuesday to an initiative to raise the current minimum wage.

While Democrats have been fighting for an increase across the country, Republicans in Congress have historically opposed a higher minimum wage.
However, polls taken earlier this year in all four of these red-leaning states showed strong support for an increase.

Turns out the polls were right. NBC News provides a comprehensive breakdown of the voting results and how many workers it will affect.

Here's just how much the initiatives will increase minimum wage per hour in each state:

  • Alaska: from $7.75 to $9.75 by 2016
  • Arkansas: from $6.25 to $8.50 by 2017
  • Nebraska: from $7.25 to $9 by 2o16
  • South Dakota: from $7.25 to $8.50 by 2015

The initiatives in Alaska and South Dakota will also use an inflation index, meaning that the wage floor will rise according to the cost of living.

These four states will now join many others in raising their minimum wage over the $7.25 set by Congress. Twenty-three states (including D.C.) have their minimum wage currently set higher than the federal level. In January, the number will jump to 25 with the addition of Hawaii and Maryland.

Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota will bring the total to 29 states. That's close to two-thirds of the country with a minimum wage higher than the federal level.