- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Low-wage workers in Vermont have an extra reason to celebrate the new year. The state’s hourly minimum wage climbs from $9.15 per hour to $9.60 as of Jan. 1.

It’s part of a series of steps that will see the state’s minimum wage climb to $10.50 by 2018, and be indexed annually to inflation thereafter.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire remains at the federal minimum wage level of $7.25. Maine is $7.50 statewide, but the city of Portland increased its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, effective Friday.

The Vermont increases are the result of legislation signed into law by Gov. Peter Shumlin in 2014. A year ago, the wage went from $8.73 to $9.15.

Shumlin says there’s little evidence to support arguments that a higher minimum wage hurts job growth.

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