WASHINGTON - About 2 million Americans get a raise today as the federal minimum wage rises 70 cents.
The increase, to $6.55 and hour from $5.85, is the second of three annual increases required by a 2007 law. Next year's boost will bring the federal minimum to $7.25 an hour.
The new minimum is less than the inflation-adjusted 1997 level of $7.02, and far below the inflation-adjusted level of $10.06 from 40 years ago, according to a Labor Department inflation calculator.
Twenty-three states, including Ohio, and the District of Columbia have laws making their minimum wage higher than the new federal requirement.