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The 25-Cent Raise: What Life Is Like After a Minimum Wage Increase

Washington Post (02/17/15) Chico Harlan

The minimum wage in Arkansas—one of 20 states to raise the minimum wage this year—increased by 25 cents to $7.50 per hour. This amounts to an extra $2 per day, or $520 per year, but it is not enough to pull most minimum-wage earners out of poverty.

With the federal minimum wage holding steady at $7.25 per hour since 2009, states have become the new battleground in regard to the minimum wage, with 29 states and the District of Columbia now requiring minimum wages higher than the federal level. A federal proposal to boost the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour has gone nowhere, and while supporters say the increase would return the minimum wage to its inflation-adjusted value of 40 years ago, critics contend that such a move would force small businesses to close up shop.