From the NYT
The minimum wage rises 70 cents to $5.85 an hour today, the first increase in a decade. It ends the longest period without an increase since the federal minimum wage was enacted in 1938. The last previous increase came in September 1997. Legislation signed in May increases the wage 70 cents each summer until 2009, when it will reach $7.25 an hour. Government figures show about 1.7 million people earned $5.15 or less per hour in 2006. A person working 40 hours a week at the current minimum wage of $5.15 makes about $10,700 a year. A raise to $5.85 an hour would increase that to $12,168 a year before taxes. An increase to $7.25 would raise that to just over $15,000 a year.