Most adjust pay to cover increases in cost of living.
Nearly 1 million U.S. workers will be getting a New Year’s Day gift: a small raise after 10 states boost their minimum wages.
WASHINGTON — Nearly 1 million U.S. workers will be getting a New Year’s Day gift: a small raise after 10 states boost their minimum wages.
Nine states will adjust the wages to accommodate the costs of living, as required by state laws, while Rhode Island will implement a law signed by the governor that raises its minimum wage to $7.75 per hour. The wage hikes range between 10 cents and 35 cents per hour, adding between $190 and $510 to the average affected worker’s annual pay.
With those changes, 19 states and the District of Columbia will have minimum wages above the federal level of $7.25. That rate has been in place since 2009 and has not been adjusted for inflation.
The National Employment Law Project, an advocate for workers’ rights, is among several groups calling for lawmakers to boost the federal rate.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced a bill last July that would raise States raising their minimum wages Jan. 1 and the new hourly amounts. Arizona Colorado Florida Missouri Montana Ohio Oregon Rhode Island Vermont Washington $7.80 $7.78 $7.79 $7.35 $7.80 $7.85 $8.95
$7.75 $8.60 $9.19 the minimum wage to $9.80 by 2014 and adjust it each year. But the legislation has little chance to pass in a divided Congress.
Meanwhile, New Jersey’s Democratic-controlled legislature passed a bill early this month that would raise wages, currently at the federal minimum, by a dollar. Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, will likely veto the measure, saying it would burden businesses still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
A battle is also brewing in California, where the state’s $8-per-hour minimum wage has remained the same for five years.