New Year brings minimum wage increases in handful of states

 
Jan. 2, 2014

The New Year's holiday brought about an increase in the minimum wage in 13 states. With these increases, there are now 21 states that have minimum wages higher than the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

According to USA Today, wages rose by as much as $1 in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, and now range between $8 to $8.70.

California's minimum wage will rise to $9 on July 1. And smaller, automatic increases based on inflation rates have taken hold in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

A handful of other states are expected to mull increases this year, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Minnesota and South Dakota.

"2014 is poised to be a turning point," Jack Temple, National Employment Law Project policy analyst, said in the story. "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."

Temple added that the growing number of protests by QSR employees throughout the country have made the minimum wage issue "more urgent."

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