Minimum Wage Set to Rise in Eight States

By: - December 28, 2011 12:00 am

The new year will bring a bit more money for workers in eight states, where minimum wages are tied to inflation and will increase starting on January 1.

Workers in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington will see their salaries rise by anywhere from 28 to 37 cents an hour, according to the National Employment Law Project , which advocates for low-income employees and keeps track of minimum wages in all 50 states . For full-time workers, that works out to $582 to $770 a year.

Of the eight states, Washington will have both the biggest increase in the minimum wage at 37 cents an hour, or $770 a year – and the highest minimum wage in the nation, at $9.04 an hour , according to NELP. All of the eight states have minimum wages that are above the federally prescribed rate of $7.25 an hour.

A ninth state, Nevada, also could raise its minimum wage in 2012, but that would not happen until July. Missouri has previously tied its minimum wage to inflation, but the state announced that its rate would stay at the federal level, where it has been since July 2009.

As Stateline noted earlier this year , automatic increases in state minimum wages can be controversial. While supporters of the increases see them as economic stimulus measures that will provide more money to working Americans, detractors note that the burden will fall on businesses. Companies in Florida and Washington sued to block the latest round of increases, but lost in both states. 

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.