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Minimum Wage Rates Go Up In 10 States for 2013, Increasing Wages for Nearly 1 Million Workers

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information below is now out-of-date. For the latest on the minimum wage in your state, read our 2015 update. You can also check out our interactive map, Women and the Minimum Wage, State by State. (January 5, 2015)

The minimum wage in ten states went up at the beginning of 2013. Rhode Island saw the largest increase of 35 cents per hour thanks to legislation passed in June. Minimum wages in the other nine states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) increased automatically because they are indexed to inflation, a policy which ensures that the minimum wage keeps pace with the increasing cost of living.

Analysis by the Economic Policy Institute reveals that nearly one million workers will get a raise from these increases. In each state, women are the majority of the workers who will see their wages go up. The impact on women is the largest in Missouri where they are nearly three-quarters of the workers who will benefit from the increased minimum wage. The economies of these states will also benefit — the increase in minimum wages will add nearly $184 million to GDP in 2013. 

These increases added some more good news to the victories minimum wage workers saw in the last few months — voters chose to increase the minimum wage in Albuquerque, San Jose, and Long Beach, and a bill to raise New Jersey's minimum wage has made its way to Governor Christie's desk.

Sadly, however, the minimum wage is still falling short for millions of Americans, especially women. Today, a full-time minimum wage worker makes just $14,500 annually — more than $3,600 below the poverty line for a family of three. And because women are two-thirds of minimum wage workers, increasing the minimum wage would also help close the wage gap. 

Though state and local measures to raise the minimum wage are positive, a higher federal minimum wage — like the $9.80/hour proposed in the Fair Minimum Wage Act — would give millions more workers a raise and help lift families out of poverty. An increase in the federal minimum wage is essential.