20 states increase minimum wage

World Today

On New Year’s Day 2015, the minimum in 20 U.S. states rose, but remained unchanged at the federal level. CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reported this story from Washington, D.C.

Some states that increased the minimum wage on Jan. 1 included Massachusetts, Washington, New Mexico, and Florida.

Later in the year another three states and the District of Columbia are expected to raise their minimum wage.

By the end of the year, the highest minimum wage will be found in Washington, D.C., with an hourly rate of $10.50, while the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 an hour.

20 states increase minimum wage

Starting New Year's Day, the minimum wage goes up in 20 of the 50 U.S. States -- but is unchanged at the federal level. CCTV America's Jim Spellman reported this story from Washington, DC.

In some states, the increase is only 15 cents an hour, which adds up $6 in a 40-hour workweek before taxes, just enough for a few gallons of gas or a couple of meals. In other states, workers could see an increase as high as a $1 extra an hour, adding $40 per workweek before taxes.

The changes are estimated to affect 3.1 million Americans.

The Obama administration would like to see a raise in the federal minimum wage, saying it will help the U.S. economy as a whole.

Critics against raising the federal minimum wage say that the increases will result in less spending in capital investment and fewer jobs offered by employers.

With the House and Senate under Republican control, the Obama administration’s passage of a federal minimum wage increase is unlikely.