The federal minimum wage increased to $6.55 on July 24. This is the second $.70 increase in the last year. In 2007, President Bush signed into law a SEMA-supported measure that balanced a minimum wage hike with $4.8 billion in small-business tax breaks. The wage rose from $5.15 to $5.85 in July 2007. The wage will increase again to $7.25 an hour in July 2009. The tax relief package increased the tax code’s annual expensing limits to $125,000 for 2007 and 2008.

A number of states and several local jurisdictions have minimum wage rates that are higher than the federal standard. The current wage in California, for example, is $8 an hour.

The Department of Labor tracks state wages at

For further information, contact Stuart Gosswein at