The States Have Given Up on the Federal Government Raising the Minimum Wage


Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed attorney and HR consultant Hessam Parzivand. Parzivand is a regular on the Price of Business show. 

Price and Parzivand discuss the fact that the states have given up hope on raising the minimum wage on a federal level. In this interview they discuss:
*  How referendums raising the minimum wage on a state level has support in both Red and Blue states
*  How using the states rather than the federal government harms a core Democratic Party constituency
*  What economic impact, if any, the increases have had.
And much more.

While the federal government has lagged in raising the minimum wage, many states are taking the lead in raising minimum wages on their own. More than twenty states raised their minimum wages at or near the beginning of 2023. Some states raise the minimum wage through inflation adjustments automatically. Others have legislated slow stair step increases so as not to dramatically impact businesses. Ballot initiatives to increase the minimum wage have performed surprisingly well in more conservative states such as Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida. At a time where inflation and wage inflation is rampant, the federal minimum wage has become less relevant economically.

The minimum wage still has impacts across the country. The restaurant industry and particularly fast food can be effected by minimum wage increases or changes in market wages. One can speculate about the price impacts of raising the minimum wage. At least, in this economy, states that have raised the minimum wage do not appear to be seeing job losses.

The challenge of state by state wage and hour laws is that it creates a compliance nightmare for companies who have operations in multiple states. This issue is even more complicated now that more companies rely on a remote workforce.


Parzivand is an attorney in Houston, Texas that focuses on labor law. He is a long time contributor on the Price of Business show. Learn more about him at


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