Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Minimum-wage workers in eight states could see their paychecks grow by hundreds of dollars next year, thanks to automatic annual increases in the rates.

Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Washington and Oregon recently announced their 2012 minimum wages, which contain bumps ranging from 28 cents to 37 cents per hour. This translates into annual raises of between $582 and $770 for full-time workers at that end of the pay scale depending on where they live. Washington workers enjoy the highest minimum wage, which will rise to $9.04, a boost of 37 cents per hour and $770 per year.

Arizona, Florida and Vermont are expected to announce the increases in their rates in coming weeks.

These states are taking action because their laws require that their minimum wages adjust annually to keep pace with inflation.

The federal minimum wage stands at $7.25, which is just over $15,000 a year for a full-time worker. The federal rate, which is not indexed for inflation, was last increased in 2009, when it rose by 70 cents. Some 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, have higher minimum wage rates.