January 10, 2011

Minimum Wage Rose in 7 States

 The article Minimum Wage Earners in 7 States Getting Raises  points out that Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington all have minimum wages that are indexed to inflation and above the federal minimum.   Since they are indexed to inflation it is normal to get an annual raise to coincide with the inflation rate.   Florida, Missouri and Nevada also have rules about increasing their minimum wage based on inflation but those states are not getting increases this year.

 The article also says that about 647,000 people in those 7 states will get raises due to the increase in the minimum wage.   That sounds like a ton of people but given the employment figures for those states adds up to about 14.7M people it actually works out to around 4.5% of the population is earning the minimum in the 7 states.  That is a higher level than other states which makes sense.   Nationally about 3% of the population earns the minimum wage.   But if a higher minimum wage then it will cover a larger group of the lower income earners.

The new minimum wages for the states with increases are as follows:

Washington state will have the highest minimum wage at $8.67 an hour.

Oregon is $8.50
Arizona $7.35
Colorado $7.36
Montana $7.35
Vermont $8.15

Most states are fixed at the federal rate of $7.25

But the following states have rates higher than the federal but not indexed to inflation.  

Alaska $7.75
California $8
Connecticut $8.25
D.C. $8.25
Illinois $8.25
Maine $7.50
Massachusetts $8
Michigan $7.40
Nevada $8.25
New Mexico $7.50
Ohio $7.40
Rhode Island $7.40

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