Hawaii's minimum wage will go up on Jan. 1 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's minimum wage will go up on Jan. 1

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii’s minimum wage will go up by 75 cents on New Year’s Day to $8.50 an hour.

The state is among 14 that will see minimum wage increases in the new year, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about 5 percent of Hawaii workers (or some 21,000 people) earn minimum wage.

Hawaii’s New Year’s Day increase is required under a 2014 law, which makes annual increases to the state’s minimum wage through 2018.

That year, the minimum wage will go up to $10.10 an hour.

Advocates who support the minimum wage increase are quick to point out that $8.50 an hour is hardly a “living wage,” especially in one of the most expensive states in the nation.

One estimate by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says to afford the basics in Honolulu, a single adult would have to earn $14.66 an hour. (National movements have called for a $15 minimum wage.)

A single adult with one child would have to earn $28.14 to cover basics (such as housing, food, transportation, and medical care).

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