Research Report

Understanding the Implications of Raising the Minimum Wage in the District of Columbia

The minimum wage establishes a lower bound on what employers must pay their workers. The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 an hour, but 22 states and the District of Columbia (DC) have established minimum wages above the federal minimum. Today, DCs minimum wage is set one dollar higher than the federal minimum ($8.25), while the minimum wage in the neighboring jurisdictions of Maryland and Virginia use the federal minimum wage. However, DC and two neighboring counties in Maryland (Prince Georges County and Montgomery County) have passed legislation raising their minimum wages to $11.50 an hour by 2016 and 2017, respectively. This report examines the potential effects of raising DCs minimum wage on DC workers, their families, and on the government programs that serve them.