Alaska minimum wage to rise to $9.80 starting Jan. 1

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's minimum wage will rise by a nickel, to $9.80 an hour, beginning Jan. 1.

Voters in 2014 approved increasing the minimum wage from $7.75 an hour. Under the measure, the minimum wage rose to $8.75 an hour in 2015 and to $9.75 an hour at the start of 2016. Going forward, the wage is to be adjusted annually for inflation.

In a release, state labor commissioner Heidi Drygas called the bump to $9.80 an hour a modest increase that will protect low-wage workers and their families against inflation.

Heather Beaty, executive director of the Alaska Workforce Investment Board, says an estimated 18,000 workers earn minimum wage or less in Alaska. She notes that some jobs are exempt from the minimum wage.

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