The United States will increase its wages by about $2 billion over the next year to help offset a $5.2 billion payroll cut, as part of the U.N. plan to reduce the burden of global warming, the Labor Department said Monday.
The Labor Department also said it would boost hiring by 1.2 million jobs in 2018, adding to an earlier report that would boost the number of jobs by 4.6 million in 2019.
The federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour, will rise by about 4 cents to $7 per hour in 2019, the highest level since 2003, when the federal minimum was $5 per hour.
The increase comes after the Labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, announced the department would be taking steps to boost pay and ensure the economic health of millions of Americans, as the world faces a prolonged period of low temperatures and rising sea levels.
The budget would help pay for the $4.8 trillion plan announced by President Donald Trump in December to reduce costs for the government and boost the economy.
The plan, which also includes spending on climate-related programs and a $1 trillion boost to the military, is designed to help pay down the nation’s $19 trillion debt and avert a financial meltdown.
The Department of Labor will spend $2,300 to hire 2,000 new workers this year, up from the current rate of 2,100.
The department also will spend more on the Social Security Administration’s online employment verification system, up to $5 million, the agency said.
The department also plans to spend $300 million on job training, $250 million on expanding job training and $250,000 on training for people with disabilities.
The wage increase is a result of the Trump administration’s decision in June to end an Obama-era rule that capped the minimum wage at $7, but increased the maximum hourly rate for tipped workers to $10.10.
It also will allow tipped workers more flexibility in how much money they can earn.
Employers, including fast-food chains, will be able to increase their hourly pay, and employers of temp workers will be allowed to increase the number or type of workers they hire, the department said.
The agency said the wage increase would come at the expense of millions in additional federal, state and local unemployment benefits, as well as money for unemployment insurance and state workers’ compensation.