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Minimum wage workers in 13 states will get a raise on January 1

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Minimum wage workers in 13 states and four cities will see an increase in their paychecks in 2014.

In most states, the bump will be a very modest "cost of living" adjustment which doesn't represent the true cost of living. In Ohio, for example, the minimum wage will rise by 10 cents to $7.95 per hour. Tipped employees will see a five cent increase, to $3.98 per hour.

Workers in a few states will fare a little better. In Connecticut, the minimum wage is going up to $8.70 an hour. The state of Washington currently has the highest minimum wage at $9.19 an hour.

The local minimum wage will also go up in Albuquerque, San Francisco, and San Jose. The highest city minimum wage increase will be in the small town of SeaTac, Washington, where voters approved a raise to $15.00 an hour for hospitality and transportation workers.

These changes are a sign that protests and strikes by restaurant and retail workers have been effective in raising public awareness of income inequality and creating the political will to do something about it, at least at the state and local level. But so far the prospects for raising the federal minimum wage appear bleak with a Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

The federal minimum wage hasn't kept up with the cost of living. In terms of purchasing power, minimum wage workers earn 30% less today than in 1968.

A recent Washington Post / ABC poll found that 77 percent of Americans support raising the federal minimum wage.



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