Several states and cities are boosting their minimum wages on July 1, giving a raise to tens of thousands of workers. In Oregon, workers are getting a 50-cent raise to $11.25 an hour. Wage hikes at the low end often make employers adjust all their pay scales, and so they boost pay for higher earners, too. "Anyone who's earning 15% or 20% more than minimum wage might see an increase themselves," said David Cooper, a senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute.
Nationwide, about 430,000 people are paid minimum wage, with another 1.2 million working for less than the minimum. That sub-minimum group includes workers who routinely earn tips—like restaurant waitstaff and bartenders—as well as workers with disabilities, who can legally be paid less than the minimum. The federal minimum wage has been at $7.25 for nearly 10 years, marking the longest period of time Congress has gone without boosting the nation's wage floor.