Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Rises Towards $15 Goal

As the debate over the minimum wage continues to rage on, one state is taking steps to increase earnings. By order of the Governor, the Pennsylvania minimum wage is now $12 per hour for state workers.

Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Going Up For State Workers

Governor Tom Wolf today signed an executive order (yes, Governors can do that too) that increases the Pennsylvania minimum wage to “no less than $12 an hour.” The order also raises the wage by 50 cents a year until reaching at least $15 per hour in 2024.

“Pennsylvania must be a place where hard work is rewarded, but today too many people cannot afford the basics,” said Governor Wolf.

Once $15 an hour is reached in 2024, the Pennsylvania minimum wage rate would increase by an annual cost of living adjustment. This adjustment would be based on the percentage change in the Pennsylvania Consumer Price Index.

It should be noted that the executive order does not increase wages for everyone. Only government employees and contractors are included, leaving the majority of Pennsylvania wage workers out.

The governor, however urged the state legislature to act to raise the Pennsylvania minimum wage for all employees.

“More than half of the states have a higher minimum wage, including all of our surrounding states, leaving many Pennsylvanians behind. Raising the wage puts more money in their pockets which generates business for our economy and makes the commonwealth stronger. Hardworking men and women should not have to wait any longer. It’s time for the General Assembly to join me and raise the wage.”

It remains to be seen whether the governor’s call will be answered. However, as many states continue to debate the merits of increasing the minimum wage, it’s hard to imagine it will be too long before Pennsylvania acts.

Cost of Living

The governor’s claim that more than half the states n the country have a higher minimum wage is correct. The federally mandated minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. However, states are free to set their own minimum wage laws provided they are equal to or higher than the federal level.

The Pennsylvania minimum wage is currently equal to the federal level at $7.25 per hour. However, many states have set higher levels.  For example, nearby states such as New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut all have minimum wages higher than the federal rate.

Income is a huge part of cost of living which is why the debate over minimum wage is such an important one. What is the cause and effect of the minimum wage? What businesses will increase costs in order to absorb the minimum wage increase?

It remains to be seen. One thing is for certain, location matters.

Why Does Location Matter?

Each state and city have variables which impact cost of living. Income, housing costs, taxes, and more are all entered into the mix. The result? Your cost of living expenses. It should come as no surprise that cost of living varies from state to state and city to city.

This is why City vs City calculates costs at the zip code level using real, local data. With our app, you can compare your cost of living with another city of your choosing. You will see a side by side breakdown of costs. As a result, you’ll know much you need to earn if you were to move to that city.

Whether or not the Pennsylvania minimum wage increases, many people will be looking to move out of their city in the coming months. How will that move impact their earnings? Download City vs City and start comparing to find out.