Wage increase largest in years

Published 8:15 am Friday, December 31, 2021

Jan. 1 will bring a new year and a larger paycheck for millions of Virginia workers.

In the new year, Virginia will be among 25 other states that will increase its minimum wage.

The Commonwealth, which saw its 2021 minimum wage increase delayed last January due to the impacts of COVID-19, is back on track for 2022, with the minimum wage increasing to $11.

In May, Virginia increased the minimum wage to $9.50, up from $7.25.

Before May, Virginia’s minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $0.70 from $6.55 to $7.25.

While many states increased the minimum wage per, the cost of living or inflation before 2021, Virginia did not.

The new pay increase for an individual making minimum wage means an additional $60 per week or $3,120 more per year.

Virginia’s state minimum wage is set to gradually increase each year until it reaches $15 starting Jan. 1, 2026.

While some workers will see an increase in their bank accounts, others may not.

Some employees who are exempt from this minimum wage rate include:

Full-time students who put in fewer than 20 hours of work per week when school is in session

Babysitters who work for fewer than 10 hours per week

Individuals under the age of 18 employed by a parent or guardian

Employees of children summer camps

Any person under the age of 16, regardless of employer

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.1 million workers or about 1.5% of the U.S. workforce earned wages at or below the minimum wage in 2020.