WASHINGTON (AP) - More money today for those making the least.
The federal minimum wage today goes up for the first time in ten
years, jumping 70 cents to five dollars and 85 cents an hour.
It's the first of three, 70-cent increases that will hike the
minimum wage to seven dollars and 25 cents an hour by the summer of
The government says more than one and a-half (m) million
American workers made the old minimum wage of five dollars and 15
cents an hour or less last year.
The increase is one of the few major legislative successes of
the new Democratic-controlled Congress. President Bush signed the
measure into law after the Democrats removed a provision calling
for the withdrawal of U-S troops from Iraq.
The bill also contains nearly five (b) billion dollars' worth of
tax relief for small businesses to help them hire new workers. The
relief will also help offset the cost of the higher wage.