For the last few years, the entire country has been dealing with crazy rates of inflation.  The price of everything keeps going up and up and up!  Nothing remains unaffected, either.  Food, electricity, gas, clothing electronics, and more.  And, on top of everything else, because we got that major influx of people during the pandemic, the cost of housing is way up, too.

Unfortunately, for most people, their rate of pay has not kept pace with the level of inflation.  They are making about the same as they were just a few years ago, but paying way more for everything.

There is some good news, though.

The lowest paid hourly employees in the State of Maine will be getting a little help.

According to WMTW, on January 1st, 2024 the Maine minimum wage will just from $13.80 to $14.15 per hour.

The article explains that, thanks to a 2016 amendment, the law requires the state make annual adjustments to the minimum wage.  These increases are based on the cost-of-living index (CPI-W) for the Northeast Region.  According to the article, there was a  2.4 percent increase in the CPI-W between August of 2022 and August of 2023..

If you are tip earner, like a server or bartender, your new minimum hourly pay will be $7.08.  However, you will still be entitled to the state minimum wage of $14.15 per hour.  So, if you work a string of particularly slow nights, your employer is still required to make sure you walk away with at least minimum wage during the hours you work.

And, if you are a salaried worker, there is a new threshold for exemption.  You need to make at least $42,450.20 per year.  If you don't, you will be eligible for overtime.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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