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December 16, 2009
State Lowers Minimum Wage

Most of the states that have indexed their minimum wages to inflation will see no change in the state minimum wage rate in 2010. However, one state will have a lower minimum wage rate.

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Ten states make annual adjustments to their state's minimum wage rate for inflation. They are:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

The states use a version of the Consumer Price Index to measure inflation, and most announce any adjustments in September or October.

Since consumer prices generally went down during 2009, and most state laws don't allow for the minimum wage to decline, 8 of those states announced that they will make no change to their minimum wage rate for 2010. Those 8 states are

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

However, one of the 10 states does allow for the minimum wage to decline: Colorado . Effective January 1, 2010, the state minimum wage will fall from $7.28 per hour to $7.24 per hour in Colorado . Since the federal minimum wage is higher, though, any employer covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to pay at least the federal rate ($7.25 per hour). Virtually all employers are covered by the federal law.

In Nevada, the state informs employers of any minimum-wage adjustments by April 1 of each year, and the rates take effect July 1 of the same year. Currently, employers in Nevada that offer qualified health insurance to their employees must pay the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. If an employee is not offered qualified health insurance, the wage rate is $7.55 per hour.

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