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Federal minimum hourly wage moves to $7.25

Federal minimum hourly wage moves to $7.25
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis speaks to a gathering at a town hall forum with the Middle Class Task Force to build a strong middle class through a Green economy at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Denver on May 26, 2009. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- Workers earning minimum wage should see a bump in their paychecks this month when the U.S. minimum wage rises to $7.25 an hour, the Labor Department said.

"This administration is committed to improving the lives of working families across the nation, and the increase in the minimum wage is another important step in the right direction," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Thursday in a news release. "I am especially pleased that the change will benefit working women, who make up two-thirds of minimum wage earners."

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The change, scheduled to take effect July 24, affects employees who are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Solis said. The increase, the last of three provided by the Minimum Wage Act of 2007, affects workers in 30 states where the state minimum wage is at or below the federal minimum wage, and in states that have no minimum wage.

In instances in which an employer is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employer must pay the higher of the two rates, the Labor Department said.

The 2007 law raised the minimum wage to $5.85 in July 2007 and then to $6.55 in July 2008.

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