Posted by Tamara
On July 24, 2009, more than a dozen states in the U.S. will hike their minimum wages.
Those 12 states mirror the increase in the federal minimum wage, which goes up on the same day.
Among those states is Nebraska, where the pay will increase from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. The others include Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, Idaho, North Dakota, North Carolina, Texas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Utah.
More than half the states nationwide, as well as the District of Columbia, have established state minimum wage laws that set their rates above $6.55 per hour. Included are Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. Also on the list are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and Florida. Others include Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Montana.
Some states have created statutes providing for a cost of living increase with their minimum wages. One of the most recent is Florida, where the rate went up to $7.21 per hour on January 1, 2009.
Among other states with such increases are Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Iowa, , New Mexico, Vermont, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Delaware, and Iowa.
These states generally use the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, as it has been established for clerical and urban workers. The rates may be based on regional or nationwide statistics.
State minimum wage laws vary widely, resulting in some dramatic differences in compensations from state to state. For example, there are five states without any minimum wage at all. Theoretically, and assuming anyone would be willing to work for such wages, employers in those states who are not covered by the federal wage laws could legally pay 10 cents an hour. The states are Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
Honors for the highest minimum wage go to Washington State, where workers receive $8.55 an hour. In Oregon, the rate is $8.40. The Vermont minimum wage is $8.06 while California, Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts are tied for fourth place, with minimum wages of $8.00 hourly.
At the opposite extreme is Kansas. This state has the distinction of a $2.65 per hour minimum wage rate. This astonishing rate has not changed since about the early 1990s.
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