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13 States, 5 Cities Raising Minimum Wage on Jan 1

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Minimum wage rates will increase in 13 states and five cities next week, providing pay raises to almost 1 million workers.

Ten of the 13 states raise minimum wage annually based on cost-of-living adjustments. Only two operate with the current national rate of $7.25.

The increases are nominal for many – just 10 cents in Arizona, Montana, Ohio, and in Albuquerque, N.M. – but are notably higher in some, such as $1 in New Jersey and almost $6 for SeaTac, Wash.

The increases to take effect on January 1 are:

  • Arizona: $7.80 to $7.90
  • Colorado: $7.78 to $7.90
  • Connecticut: $8.25 to $8.70
  • Florida: $7.79 to $7.90
  • Missouri: $7.35 to $7.50
  • Montana: $7.80 to $7.90
  • New Jersey: $7.25 to $8.25
  • New York: $7.25 to $8.00
  • Ohio: $7.85 to $7.95
  • Oregon: $8.95 to $9.10
  • Rhode Island: $7.75 to $8.00
  • Vermont: $8.60 to $8.73
  • Washington: $9.19 to $9.32
  • Albuquerque, N.M.: $8.50 to $8.60
  • Bernalillo County, N.M.: $8.00 to $8.50
  • San Francisco, Calif.: $10.55 to $10.74
  • San Jose, Calif.: $10.00 to $10.15
  • SeaTac, Wash.: $9.19 to $15.00

In addition, statewide minimum wage for California rises from $8 per hour to $9 on July 1, 2014, and grows to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.

National minimum wage of $7.25 will be unchanged in the remaining states and municipalities, though, and despite a need for overall increase. Had it increased at national inflationary rates, today’s minimum wage would be $10.74 per hour, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Public rallies and demonstrations to increase the national rate have been ongoing through latter 2013, including fast-food workers and Wal-Mart employees.

Raising minimum wage is broadly supported by the American public, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found.

Sixty-six percent of the U.S. population favors an increase, and to an average in suggested rates of $10.25 per hour. The support is bilateral, too, with majorities of self-identified Democrats and Republicans expressing favor.

Despite bilateral support from the public, Congressional Republicans remain sternly against any increase to minimum wage. Proposing the first increase since 2009, a bill to raise the level to $10.10 per hour, followed by annual increases based on inflation, was defeated, receiving no votes from House Republicans.

Arguments against any increase include claims that it would only result in layoffs; ample studies find that improvements to minimum wage would have no negative effect on employment, however.

It would also be an economic stimulus; a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago found that every $1 in increase to minimum wage would result in $2,800 in additional spending by its recipients.

Many other misperceptions – number affected, skill level, age, educational achievement, and employment field – remain present, as well.

Only 3.55 million workers earn minimum wage or less, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, constituting only 2.8 percent of all employed Americans.

Half of those earning this level are 25 years of age or older, a quarter are parents, and 42.6 percent have at least some college education, as well.

While dominantly present in the fields of food service and sales, minimum wage is also prevalent in entry levels of skilled occupations, too, including emergency medical technician, income tax preparer, and certified nursing assistant.



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