10 states up their minimum wage in new year


A worker in a fast food restaurant serves up lunch in the food court of the Ronald Reagan Building on November 18, 2008, in Washington, DC. Low wage workers in ten states, including many fast food employees, will be getting a pay raise in 2013 as the minimum wage increases.



Hourly workers in ten states will be getting a slight bump in their paychecks in the new year.

Ten states are adding between 10 and 35 cents to the state minimum wage, benefiting nearly 1 million low-paid workers, reports Reuters. 

Minimum wage employees in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington will all see increases. 

The average minimum wage worker will see an extra $190 to $510 per year, according to the non-partisan National Employment Law Project.

Nine of the states have automatic adjustments kicking in this year, bringing their average minimum wage to $8.12, up from just under $8 per hour, reports AP. 

The organization's legal co-director Paul Sonn told AP that he hopes more states will consider automatic adjustments to their minimum wage rates as the economy improves. 

"We think there's a case that it's better for everyone, including the business community, to have predictable, regular, small increases every year," Sonn said.

Washington's minimum wage rose by 15 cents on January 1, bringing the minimum rate up to $9.19 an hour, according to the Port Townsend Leader. The bump means an employee working 40 hours will earn an extra $300 per year. 

Some business groups including the National Restaurant Association oppose increaseing federal or state minimum wages.

They say it's not effective in reducing poverty and forces business owners to cut hours, raise prices or lay off workers, reports AP.