Construction Worker
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Half of U.S. states will see an increase in minimum wages paid as of 2024, among them several with Latino-heavy populations. California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada are some of the ones who have made this decision, with the former increasing it to $16 an hour.

Arizona, on its end, will take it to $14.35, Nevada to $12 and Florida, where the measure will only go into effect on September 30 next year, to $13.

The states' decision could benefit low-wage workers at a time when many continue to struggle with higher costs resulting from inflation. Not only those earning minimum wages, but also others who are just above that bracket and who could see a bump from employers aiming at keeping them above the state's minimum wage.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau compiled by the Latino Data Hub, a sizable amount of Latinos earn less than $15 an hour, meaning they could stand to benefit from the increases.

In California, 36 percent of Latino workers didn't earn at least $15 an hour in 2021. In Nevada, the figure was 38 percent, in Arizona it was 39 percent and it was 40 percent in Florida.

According to a July report by the Center for American Progress, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour could increase wages of one in four workers, or around 40 million people, and lead to "an annual wage increase as large as $8,000 for some of the lowest-wage workers."

How a minimum wage increase would impact workers
How the bottom 10 percent would benefit from such a measure Center for American Progress

"A $15 minimum wage would also help reduce stubborn gender, racial, and ethnic wage gaps for women, Black, and Latino workers, who are overrepresented among those earning less than $15 per hour," adds a passage of the report.

The document specifies that about one in three Latino workers earns less than $15 per hour and, "even more startling, about 2 in 5 employed Latinas earn less than $15 per hour, putting them at greater risk of poverty and financial hardship."

The report adds that such an increase in minimum wages could "increase the annual wages of black and Latino workers by an average of 800, an amount that could help workers cover their expenses, particularly unexpected ones."

"On average, members of the bottom 25 percent of white, Black, and Latino workers would see their annual wages increase by about $6,000. (see Figure 4) Similar to the typical and lowest-wage workers, $6,000 would make a real difference to the lives of workers in the bottom 25 percent of the wage distribution, more than covering the typical food costs or rent for workers in a similar income bracket," specifies another part of the document, which also shows it would help reduce the gender gap.

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