Minimum wage hikes kick in for 18 states

By  | 

The start of the new year brings bigger paychecks for some workers across the U.S.

Minimum hourly wages are up in 18 states along with a handful of cities and counties.

In Washington state, it's now $11.50 an hour, up 50 cents and representing the highest state minimum in the nation.

The biggest per hour jump is by $1 in Maine, from $9 to $10.

The highest local minimum wage is found in Sea-Tac Washington, $15.64 an hour, while Seattle is $15.45.

There are a number of California cities now with minimums at $13 an hour or more.

Many of the wage bumps come as result of ballot measures with backing from union and workers rights groups.

A number of the hikes are scheduled to continue to rise in the coming years.

The federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25 an hour.