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Minimum Wage Increases for Some

Updated: Monday, December 30 2013, 09:00 AM EST
The minimum wage will rise in 13 states this week, and as many as 11 states and Washington, D.C., are expected to consider increases in 2014, according to the National Employment Law Project. Approval is likely in more than half of the 11, says NELP policy analyst Jack Temple.

On Jan. 1, state minimum wages will be higher than the federal requirement of $7.25 an hour in 21 states, up from 18 two years ago. Temple expects another nine states to drift above the federal minimum by the end of 2014, marking the first time minimum pay in most states will be above the federal level.

"2014 is poised to be a turning point," Temple says. "States are seeing the unemployment rate is going down but job growth is disproportionately concentrated in low-wage industries. (They're) frustrated that Congress is dragging its feet."

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island legislatures voted to raise the minimum hourly wage by as much as $1, to $8 to $8.70, by Wednesday. In California, a $1 increase to $9 is scheduled July 1. Smaller automatic increases tied to inflation will take effect in nine other states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Meanwhile, states such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Minnesota and South Dakota plan to weigh minimum-wage hikes next year through legislation or ballot initiatives.

In Minnesota, the state House and Senate have each passed bills to raise the minimum wage and plan to iron out their differences early next year after failing to approve similar measures the past two decades.

"You're coming out of a deep recession, and people are landing jobs, but they're low-paid," says state Rep. Ryan Winkler, sponsor of the House bill.

On Jan. 1, the minimum wage in 13 states will increase to these amounts:
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   
Washington $9.32

SourceMinimum Wage Increases for Some

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