The minimum wage received a boost in ten different states from January 1. From Tuesday, the minimum wage rose in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The raises varied from state to state and ranged between 10 and 35 cents. Across the nation, the small increase will inflate the incomes of almost one million low-paid workers, putting an extra $190 to $510 per year into the pocket of the average minimum-wage employee.
Missouri received the smallest hike of 10 cents an hour, while the minimum wage in Rhode Island rose by 35 cents. From January 1, the new minimum wage in the ten affected states was as follows:
Arizona – $7.80
Colorado – $7.78
Florida – $7.79
Missouri – $7.35
Montana – $7.80
Ohio – $7.85
Oregon – $8.95
Rhode Island – $7.75
Vermont – $8.60
Washington – $9.19
Rhode Island’s comparatively hefty minimum wage boost came about after a law was signed in June 2012 by the state’s independent governor, Lincoln Chafee. The other nine states pushed their minimum wage up to comply with state laws concerning annual adjustments to keep pace with inflation.
David Cooper, an analyst with the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, told Reuters:
“For a low-wage worker, these increases are a vital protection against rising costs. In states without indexing, inflation slowly erodes the value of minimum wage workers’ pay.”
Approximately 995,000 low-paid workers will benefit from the minimum wage hike, with 855,000 to see their hourly pay boosted.
San Francisco remains the best location to be a minimum wage worker: The city boasts a minimum wage of $10.55 per hour. At the other end of the scale, low-paid workers in Georgia and Wyoming receive just $5.15.
This WPRI report documents the new minimum wage rise:
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