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Texas Minimum Wage

Posted by Tamara

The minimum wage in Texas will increase this summer.

On July 24, 2009, the Texas minimum wage increases from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour, a hike of 70 cents.

July 24, 2009 is also the date that the federal minimum wage increases. Texas is one of 12 states tracking the federal rate. The others are Virginia, Utah, Texas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, North Dakota, North Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, and Idaho.

State minimum wage laws vary dramatically from state to state as do the minimum wages in each state.

For example, a certain number of states in the U.S. tie their minimum wage rates to the annual cost of living index, or Consumer Price Index (CPI). The increase is generally based on the CPI of urban and clerical workers, either in the region or nationwide.

Florida is one of the most recent states to peg its rate to the CPI. Its “cost of living” increase took place on January 1, 2008, when it was hiked to $7.21 per hour in January 2009.

Many other states, however, have had a cost of living increase for years. They include Montana, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, Vermont, New Mexico, Kentucky, Iowa, Delaware, Oregon, and Washington.

There are five states that have no minimum wage laws whatsoever. In these states, employers who are not otherwise covered by federal minimum wage laws could legally pay workers 10 cents an hour if they could find employees willing to labor for that amount. The states are all in the South. They are South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Among those states with minimum wage laws, Kansas has the lowest rate and Washington State the highest. The Kansas rate, unchanged in more than a decade, is an astonishing $2.65 per hour. Washington’s, on the other hand, is $8.55 per hour. Other states with high minimum wages are California and Massachusetts at $8.00 hourly and Oregon with a rate of $8.40 an hour.

Before this year’s increase in the federal minimum wage, more than half the states in the U.S. had minimum wages were higher than the federal rate. Among them are New York, Illinois, California, Hawaii, Iowa, and Maine.


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