The highest rate in almost 30 years, nearly one and six Americans lived in poverty last year, according to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.Many states choose to combat poverty rates by increasing the minimum wage. As of this year, 18 states have set a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). 24/7 Wall St. examined the eight states with minimum wages of $8.00 or more – at least 10% higher than the federal mandate.
In 2007, the national minimum wage was increased for the first time in a decade, from $5.15 to $5.75. Over the next three years, the federal minimum wage increased each year until 2009, when it hit its current rate of $7.25. NELP reports that eight states will likely raise their rates again in 2012. Washington will become the first state to have a minimum wage above $9.00, though most states will continue to have a minimum wage below $8 per hour.
The states with the highest minimum wages are primarily in New England and on the West coast. They “tend to be those with very high costs of living, or those that allow ballot initiatives — which enable the voters to cut through gridlock and raise the minimum wage on their own,” Paul Sonn, Legal Co-Director of NELP, told 24/7 Wall St. in an email.
Keep Reading ‘Here Are The Eight States With The Highest Minimum Wage’ at 24/7 Wall St. >
This post originally appeared at 24/7 Wall Street.
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