Minimum wage to increase in 21 states next year

By Allen Cone  |  Dec. 26, 2016 at 10:54 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Millions of minimum wage workers in 21 states will get a raise in 2017.

The highest state minimum wages starting Jan. 1 will be $11 in Massachusetts and Washington, up from the current $10 and $9.47, respectively. Other higher minimum wages are in Arizona ($10), California ($10), Connecticut ($10.10), Oregon ($10.25 in July) and Vermont ($10). The other state raising the minimum in July is Maryland, where the minimum wage state-side will be $9.25.

Four states raised the state minimum wage in the November election -- Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington. Other increases are based on cost-of-living increases or legislative action.

Of the increases, 19 are effective at the start of the year and two will take place on July 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009 but states and localities can require a higher amount. In 21 states, the minimum of $7.25 applies even though some states actually have a lower state minimum wage.

Local government can also set higher minimum wages. The highest wages are in Washington at $15.35 in SeaTac and $15 in Seattle, according to CNN.

California cities will have higher rates in 2017 -- $10.50 in Sacramento for large employers and $13 in Mountainview and Sunnyvale.

The state of New York will be raising the minimum pay on New Year's Eve to between $9.70 and $10.50 an hour, depending on the region and employer size.

President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the labor, fast food CEO Andrew Puzder, is a critic of the movement to raise minimum wage.

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