Waitress taking order in a fast food restaurant Paul Vasarhelyi / Shutterstock

What did you do in the summer of 2009? America's national minimum wage did something it hasn't done again: It went up, to $7.25 an hour. The 10 years without an increase is the longest since the federal minimum wage was introduced after the Great Depression.

But many low-paid workers have gotten their raise anyway, courtesy of states and cities. In Washington, D.C., for example, the new minimum wage as of July 1 is $14 an hour, nearly double the federal minimum.

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