The minimum wage in the USA in Iowa in 2023
The debate around minimum wage in the USA has been ongoing for decades, but with the current administration pushing for an increase in the Federal minimum wage of $7.25, to $15 by 2023, the issue is likely to be front and center in the public discourse for years to come. Nowhere is this issue more pertinent than in the state of Iowa, which has seen a steady increase in its own minimum wage, from $7.25 in 2019 to $7.75 in 2020 and $8.20 in 2021, before an anticipated rise to $8.75 in 2022 and $9.25 in 2023. Clearly, Iowa has been on the forefront of the minimum wage fight for the past few years, and the upward trend looks set to continue – but to what effect?
The positive effects of a higher minimum wage are obvious. Low wage earners, who are most likely people in the periphery of society, will be able to make a more decent wage to meet their basic needs, earning more and having more to spend on necessities or other areas of their life than they could on their old wage. Additionally, a living wage would help ensure gender equality in the workplace, as at present women are disproportionately affected by the current wages, due to the gender wage gap. Finally, a higher minimum wage would help lessen the discrepancy between wealthy and working class citizens, helping to reduce the overall wealth inequality in Iowa and the USA as a whole.
However, there is some cause for concern. As with any increase in wages, there may be job losses due to employers no longer being able to afford to hire as much staff on a higher wage. Additionally, because of this, business owners and employers may pass the costs of their wages onto consumers, meaning prices may rise. Furthermore, because of the increase to wages, some may start to depend exclusively on the minimum wage, with no incentive to work any harder or to pursue any other kind of job prospects.
In conclusion, while there are potentially a number of benefits to increasing the minimum wage in Iowa, there is also some cause for concern. The argument is complex and multifaceted, but ultimately the aim should be to ensure that people in Iowa are given a living wage that they can use to support themselves and their families comfortably – this should be the goal when looking at the issue of minimum wage in the USA, and in Iowa in particular, in 2023.