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One million workers get pay boost as 10 states adjust minimum wage

Nine states adjust minimum wage yearly to account for inflation and a tenth passed a new law raising minimum wage. Experts still debate minimum wage's impact on the economy.


Kaylee Feight talks about the impact of a minimum wage increase on her job at Quiznos in Helena, Mont., in Dec. Montana's minimum wage workers are getting a small pay raise on New Year's Day when an automatic cost-of-living increase takes effect.

Matt Gouras/AP

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From Washington State to Florida, the new year is bringing a boost in the minimum wage for an estimated 1 million low-wage workers.

The changes are coming in nine states that adjust their base wages annually for inflation, and in Rhode Island, where legislation last year set a higher minimum. The federal minimum wage, which is set by Congress and which sets the pattern in a majority of US states, remains unchanged at $7.25.

Pay gains for the affected workers affected will be modest – an extra $190 to $510 per year for the average directly affected worker, according to the National Employment Law Project, a group that supports the idea of annual inflation-adjustment. But the upgrade is meaningful to workers who often earn about $16,000 in a year.

States where minimum pay is rising are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.


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