Great News â€“ Congress Increases Federal Minimum Wage to $7.25 per Hour! The U.S. House and Senate passed an increase in the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour over two years. There has been no federal increase in the minimum wage in ten years, which led many states, including North Carolina to raise their minimums above the federal level. Because North Carolinaâ€™s current minimum is $6.15 per hour, the stateâ€™s minimum wage would increase to $6.55 on September 1, 2008 and then to $7.25 on September 1, 2009. For states with lower minimums, an increase goes into effect 60 days after President Bush signs the bill, which also includes money for the Iraq war and a tax cut for small businesses.