Federal minimum wage increased Friday to $7.25 an hour; last of three hikes
The U.S. Department of Labor reminds employers and employees that the federal minimum wage increased to $7.25 on Friday, July 24. With this change, employees who are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be entitled to pay no less than $7.25 per hour.
This increase is the last of three provided by the enactment of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which amended the FLSA to increase the federal minimum wage in three steps: to $5.85 per hour effective July 24, 2007; to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and now to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.
The latest change will directly benefit workers in 30 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming) where the state minimum wage is currently at or below the federal minimum wage, or there is no state minimum wage. It will also benefit workers in the District of Columbia, where the minimum wage is required to be $1 more than the federal minimum wage.
A family with a full-time minimum wage earner would see its monthly income increase by about $120. That is more than a week's worth of groceries for an average family of four or more than one week's utility bills. The $120 buys three tanks of gas for a small car. The $120 would easily cover the cost of replacing all the light bulbs in a typical home with compact fluorescent light bulbs - which would save the family money in the long term and be an important step toward a greener country.
The benefits are not just for full-time workers. About half of minimum wage workers are part-timers, and they, too, are going to see a very welcome boost to their incomes.