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25% of U.S. States Raise Hourly Wage

Monday, January 6, 2014

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Thirteen states raised the minimum wage for workers on Jan. 1, bringing to 21 the number nationwide that are now paying workers above the federally mandated minimum.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25, the level it has been at since July 24, 2009.

When an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two wages.

Boosting Income

In New York and New Jersey, voters approved increasing minimum wage above the federal rate. Connecticut and Rhode Island already had wages above the federal level, but increased them even more.

minimum wage
Department of Labor

Thirteen states increased minimum wage rates above the federal level, effective Jan. 1. "It's an economic and moral imperative that no one who works full-time should live in poverty," said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.

The minimum wage in nine other states automatically increased Jan. 1.

"What we're seeing around the country is a recognition that hardworking, low-wage workers need a raise," said Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez.

"Hopefully, this state-based momentum will spur Congress to act so that all of this country's low-wage earners receive a boost to their income. It's an economic and moral imperative that no one who works full time should live in poverty," Perez said. 

State by State

States that increased minimum wage on Jan. 1 were:

  • Arizona ($7.90);
  • Colorado ($8.00);
  • Connecticut ($8.70);
  • Florida ($7.93);
  • Missouri ($7.50);
  • Montana ($7.90);
  • New Jersey ($8.25);
  • New York ($8.00);
  • Ohio ($7.95);
  • Oregon ($9.10);
  • Rhode Island ($8.00);
  • Vermont ($8.73); and
  • Washington ($9.32).

In Alaska, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico, minimum-wage rates are already higher than the federal level.

Minimum Wage for Developed Economies

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked the U.S ranked near the bottom in minimum wages in 2011, when compared with other developed countries.

Four states—Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and Wyoming—have rates lower than the federal level.

In Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina, there are no minimum-wage laws.


Tagged categories: Economy; Government; Labor; Workers

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