Minimum wage increasing to $10.50 an hour on Jan. 1

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Delaware starts down the path toward a $15 an hour minimum wage, with the current $9.25 an hour rate moving up to $10.50 on Jan. 1.

The base wage will increase each year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.

Maryland and New Jersey earlier joined the moved toward a $15 an hour wage. Pennsylvania retained  the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

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The Delaware General Assembly passed the phased-in $15 an hour wage after an effort in Congress failed.

Gone on Jan. 1 is a slightly lower training wage that came out of an earlier compromise on a minimum wage boost.

The $15 an hour wage was passed despite objections from the business community, which claimed companies coming out of the pandemic could not afford the higher wage.

The hospitality industry said the higher wage would lead to fewer jobs, although that issue has been ecliped by a serious labor shortage.

Also cited was wage inflation, with the higher base wage leading to pay boosts for all staffers.

Backers of the higher minimum  wage say low-wage workers have fallen behind in keeping up with the cost of living.

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