Congress this year pushed the federal minimum wage up to $5.85 per hour, with 70-cent jumps planned for the next two summers. But some lawmakers want to keep that mojo working. A group of Democrats, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., are proposing to push the federal minimum to $9.50 per hour starting in 2009. Plus, the bill calls for automatic cost-of-living increases.
Outlook: Expect no more federal wage hikes this year, but count on action in the states. And look for the minimum wage to become a divisive issue in the presidential campaign.
For more details on federal and state minimum-wage laws, plus links to free copies of the mandatory U.S. Labor Department poster that you must post in your workplace, see our recent article: Federal minimum wage goes up--and so should your new posters.