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Minimum Wage:1.4 Million Workers Getting A Raise on New Year’s Day

2013_Minimum_Wage_By_StateOn Jan. 1, over 1.4 million people — 1,441,000 to be exact — will get a raise thanks to increasing minimum wages in 13 states, according to an analysis by the National Employment Law Project.

Four states — Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island — approved increases in their minimum wages this year that take effect at the beginning of 2014. The other nine — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington — will see an increase thanks to state laws that require automatic annual raises tied to the cost of living. California also passed a higher wage of $10 an hour that will take effect later in the year.

At the city level, workers in the small Washington state town of SeaTac will get a $15 per hour minimum wage after a ballot initiative passed in November, and San Francisco and San Jose will both see increases on January 1 thanks to required automatic adjustments indexed to inflation, raising their wages to $10.79 and $10.15, respectively. Workers in Washington, D.C. are likely to get a raise to $11.50 next year, as well.

NELP also estimates that more than 1.1 million workers who make just above the minimum will be indirectly impacted by the 13 states’ higher wages, as pay scales are revised upward. The increased wages for both those making minimum wage and those just above it will come to nearly a billion dollars, or $978 million. The extra spending will boost the GDP by nearly $620 million.

According to NELP, 21 states will have minimum wages higher than the federal level of $7.25 as of Jan. 1. Higher wages could be on their way across the country, as proposals have been introduced in Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Hampshire. Organizers are also trying to get the issue in front of voters with ballot initiatives in Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C.

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