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Obama Signs Minimum Wage Order on U.S. Contract Workers

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for U.S. government contract workers in the future.

The order applies to U.S. contractors such as National Park Service concessions workers and military food-service employees, according to a White House fact sheet. The 39% increase from $7.25/hour will take effect in January of 2015.

Without action from Congress, Obama is now making the change, which is an approach he vowed to follow during his January 28 State of the Union speech outlining his vision for reducing income inequality. He urges lawmakers in Congress to raise the minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $10.10, saying it is good for workers as well as the economy.

Republicans have faulted Obama’s move tot raise it for the federal contract employees as costing jobs while helping few workers.

The president wants Congress to pass a measure that would index the U.S. minimum wage to inflation after raising it to $10.10 an hour. The U.S. minimum wage is now $7.25/hour, where it has been since 2009.