WASHINGTON, N.Y., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- More than half a million U.S. workers can expect a raise on New Year's Day, the National Employment Law Project said Tuesday.
Those earning minimum wage will see wage hikes on the first of the year in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, the advocacy group said.
The expected raises, between nine and 12 cents per hour, are "critical during tough economic times and directly benefit workers and state economies," said Christine Owens, the group's executive director.
"These small increases mean that thousands of minimum wage earners like health aides, child care workers, restaurant workers and retail clerks will be better able to put food on the table, provide for their children, and keep a roof over their head," she added.
Except in Vermont, the indexed increases raises affecting 647,000 minimum wage workers, all came about through voter referendums In Vermont, the raises were granted through legislative action.