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Minimum wage increases effective Jan. 1

In the 2014 mid-term elections, voters across the country resoundingly voted for increases in state or local minimum wages.

As of New Year’s Day, 29 states and the District of Columbia (as well as a number of cities and smaller municipalities) will have minimum wages above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. At that time, 60 percent of all U.S. workers will be in states with wage floors above the federal minimum.

The Economic Policy Institute produced a good map showing states where minimum wages will exceed the federal minimum as of Jan. 1. If a state has an “I” on the map, this means that the minimum wages in the state also are tied to some index of price inflation (such as the Consumer Price Index). So, as inflation goes up, so will wages go up with the index.