By  on July 24, 2009

WASHINGTON — Retailers are bracing for another financial hit to payroll costs and profits as the last increase in the federal minimum wage rate takes effect today, while advocates maintain it will serve as a big boost to the livelihood of workers, the economy and businesses.

The hourly wage rate will increase to $7.25 from $6.55, the third increase in two years, stemming from legislation enacted in 2007. The change will give a boost to workers in 30 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, where the state wage rate is currently lower.

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