Hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers will enjoy a belated Christmas present on Jan. 1, as seven states will increase their minimum wage.
Automatic inflation-based adjustments ranging from 9 to 12 cents will boost the incomes of approximately 647,000 workers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
The increases are the result of ballot initiatives in six states and 2005 legislation in the state of Vermont.
As a result, 17 states and the District of Columbia will have minimum wages above the federal level — which is $7.25.
The federal minimum wage currently pays a full-time minimum-wage earner just over $15,000 per year.
The state with the highest minimum wage will be Washington at $8.67 (up 12 cents from 2010).
Here are what the new minimum wages will be in the other six states:
- Arizona — $7.35 (up 10 cents)
- Colorado — $7.36 (up 12 cents)
- Montana –$7.35 (up 10 cents)
- Ohio — $7.30 (up 10 cents)
- Oregon — $8.50 (up 10 cents)
- Vermont — $8.15 (up 9 cents)
Info: Click here for a chart from the Department of Labor outlining the minimum wage laws in every state (Note: This chart does not yet include the 2011 changes noted above).