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New Hawaii Law Will Raise Minimum Wage $8 in Six Years

May 10, 2022

Legislation passed last week will raise Hawaii’s minimum wage to potentially the highest rate in the country, Associated Press reports.

Hawaii’s minimum wage is currently US$10.10 an hour. The legislation will raise the state’s minimum wage in increments over the next several years, starting with $12 on October 1 and ending with $18 by 2028.

By today’s standards, the $18 minimum wage would be the highest rate among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. However, some states that currently have $15 an hour minimum wages, like California, may have a higher wage in six years due to inflation.

Advocates of the legislation say it is badly needed in a state with expensive housing and a high cost of living. Opponents say the higher wage will drive up businesses’ costs and essentially be absorbed by consumers. They believe it would be better for Hawaii to reduce its cost of living, such as increasing available housing by allowing the construction of taller and more numerous residential towers, driving down housing costs.

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