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    New Year to Usher in Wage Hikes in 13 States

    Twenty-one states will soon have a minimum wage above $7.25.

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Minimum wage workers in 13 states will see a little more cash in their paychecks once the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1.

    While most of the increases amount to less than 15 cents per hour, workers in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island will see a bigger hike, according to CNN Money. The change in New Jersey comes after voters approved a referendum in November's election to raise the state's minimum wage by $1 to $8.25 an hour.

    Lawmakers in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island made the legislative decisions in their respective states. As a result, Connecticut's minimum wage will rise to $8.70, and Rhode Island's and New York's wage will hit $8.

    Workers in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington will see a higher wage floor due to annual cost of living adjustments, the news outlet added.

    The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour. However, 19 states have minimum wages set higher. Once the changes take effect on Jan. 1, the number ticks up to 21.

    Wage increases are also set to take place at the local level, according to CNN Money. Voters recently approved a raise to $15 per hour for many workers in SeaTac, a small municipality centered around the Seattle-Tacoma airport in Washington state. A judge ruled this past week that parts of the measure were not valid: The city could impose the minimum wage for some of the affected workers, the judge said, though not all. Supporters of the increase plan to appeal.

    In addition, Seattle's mayor-elect Ed Murray has said he plans to also raise the city's minimum wage to $15. Washington currently has the highest state minimum wage at $9.19 per hour. Employees in San Francisco, San Jose and Albuquerque will also see wages increase.

    More moves will take place as the year progresses. Two counties in Maryland and Washington, D.C., will raise their minimum wages in 2014 and California is set to raise its minimum wage to $9 in July, the report added.

    The minimum wage hikes have become a hot-button issue as workers across the country staged protests over the issue. Most recently, fast-food employees in nearly 100 cities planned a strike on Dec. 5. Mass demonstrations were held in an additional 100 cities, as CSNews Online previously reported.

    Since a year ago, labor unions, worker advocacy groups and other organizations have been building a campaign to highlight the difficulties of living on the federal minimum wage -- which equals approximately $15,000 per year for a full-time employee. Protestors have called for a federal minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, although some refer to that figure as a rallying point rather than a near-term possibility.

     

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