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One big reason wages increased at their fastest pace in 9 years

Friday’s jobs report showed sharp wage growth, and the increase could be fueled in part by minimum wage increases in 18 states.

Average hourly wages jumped 9 cents, or 0.3%, to $26.74, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means wages have increased 2.9% over the last year — the biggest gain since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and hasn’t increased since 2009. But many states and municipalities enacted laws to raise the wage this year. In California, the minimum wage went up 50 cents an hour starting Jan.

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