The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) announced Tuesday that San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to raise the minimum wage above $10 an hour.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, that city's minimum wage will jump 32 cents to $10.24 an hour.

Eight states are also set to beef up their minimum wage rates come the first of the year. Sorry Minnesotans. Your state is not among them. 

In fact, at $6.15 an hour, Minnesota's minimum wage is paltry in comparison to some of its peers. The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour. (The federal minimum wage automatically applies to Minnesota workers at companies with more than $500,000 in annual revenues. Federal wages may also kick in for workers at  companies conducting interstate commerce.) 

Wage disparities summon debate from staunch advocates for realistic or "livable" wages and critics who say that wages should be based on what the market will bear, not legislation that sometimes thwarts hiring. 

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