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As of today, 18 states and 20 cities have new higher minimum wage requirements. The changes affect roughly 4.5 million workers. The wage hikes run across the country, from Maine to California. Then you have cities doing their own thing, setting a higher local minimum wage than the state overall. That’s happening in Minneapolis, Tacoma, Flagstaff, Palo Alto, Albuquerque – the list goes on.

All this state and local wage-hiking by legislation and ballot initiative is happening at least in part because the federal minimum has been stuck at $7.25-an-hour since 2009. And with Republicans in charge of Congress, there's scant chance of it going up anytime soon.

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Follow Mitchell Hartman at @entrepreneurguy