Massachusetts Minimum Wage Stays at $15 in 2024 with No Increase in Sight

Photo by Pascal Bernardon on Unsplash

Massachusetts’ minimum wage did not increase at the start of the new year, marking the first time in five years that it remained constant, at $15 per hour.


This status quo marks the conclusion of the gradual increment initiated by legislation in 2018, which successfully elevated the state’s minimum wage from $8 in 2013 to $15 in 2023 over the span of a decade. 


This progression was celebrated by minimum wage workers and advocates, disproving anticipated drawbacks.


Despite Massachusetts previously being at the forefront of the minimum wage movement, it no longer holds the highest rate in New England. 


Connecticut now surpasses Massachusetts with a minimum wage of $15.69 per hour, followed by Maine at $14.15, Rhode Island at $14, and Vermont at $13.67. Notably, New Hampshire also did not witness an increase in 2024, maintaining a minimum wage of $7.25.


Learn all about Massachusetts Labor Laws.


Due to rising housing costs and inflation, there is a prevalent belief that the minimum wage should continue to rise. Advocates are now striving for a new target: a minimum wage of $20 per hour. If this were to be implemented, it could impact nearly 1 million workers, with almost a quarter of working parents affected, while only 8% of those set to receive raises are teenagers, as per the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.


Advocates are pushing a ballot question that would phase out the state’s “service rate” which lets restaurants pay workers $6.75 an hour if tips make up the difference between that and the state’s $15 minimum wage. Under the question, the service rate would end by 2029. The Massachusetts Restaurant Association opposes the question, saying the highest-paid employees in any restaurant are tipped employees, frequently averaging $20, $30, and sometimes even $50 per hour.

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