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Obama to sign order on federal minimum wage hike Wednesday

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[February 12, 2014]  WASHINGTON (Reuters)  President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour starting next year, the White House said.

Obama announced during his State of the Union address last month that he intended to take executive action to raise wages for federal contract workers, but the White House had not said when he would do so.

The order will affect workers starting on January 1, 2015, and applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts.

"The executive order the president will sign today will benefit hundreds of thousands of people," the White House said in a statement.

"It will also improve the value that taxpayers are getting from the federal government's investment. Studies show that boosting low wages will reduce turnover and absenteeism, while also boosting morale and improving the incentives for workers, leading to higher productivity overall."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Ken Wills)

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