Thousands of minimum wage workers in the Twin Cities will get pay raises of up to $15 an hour July 1, a goal years in the making.

In Minneapolis, large businesses with more than 100 workers will be required to pay an hourly wage of at least $15. Workers in businesses with fewer than 100 employees will get a pay bump of up to $13.50. Those smaller employers have until 2024 to reach the $15 an hour rate.

St. Paul's large businesses must increase their minimum wage by $1 to $13.50 an hour. Smaller businesses — those with six to 100 employees — also must raise their hourly wage by $1 — to $12, while businesses with fewer than five employees must raise hourly rates from $10 to $10.75.

In 2017, Minneapolis became the first city in the Midwest to adopt an ordinance raising the minimum hourly wage to $15. St. Paul followed suit the following year, passing a phased policy that will require all employers to pay $15 an hour by July 2027.

Tips and gratuities do not count toward wage payments, Minneapolis officials said.

The wage increase will directly benefit tens of thousands of families and the economy, they said Wednesday.

Since the Minneapolis ordinance took effect in 2018, wages have been rising in many low-wage industries. The increase has been dramatic the past year as many businesses struggle to find workers. On Tuesday, Minnesota reported the state had more than twice as many job openings as unemployed people.

Many employers are already paying more than the minimum wage. Big retailers such as Target have raised starting pay to at least $15 an hour in the past couple of years.

In April, the average wage for restaurant and bar workers in Minnesota was $17.18, a 12% increase in the past year and a 20% hike in the past two years, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Meanwhile, the average wage for retail workers was $18.84, a 3% increase and 17% increase during those same years.

There have also been violations.

The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, which oversees enforcement of minimum wage and wage theft ordinances, found that about 22 employers were paying less than the required minimum wage since 2018. In those cases, the city recovered about $172,463 in back wages for more than 1,000 workers.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis has also collected at least $34,700 from four employers in other cases of wage theft, said Brian Walsh, director of the city's Labor Standards Enforcement Division.

The city is encouraging workers to report violations online on its website or call 311 for information or services.

Staff writers Kavita Kumar and Katie Galioto contributed to this story.