President Obama is expected to announce at his State of the Union address that he will issue an executive order to increase the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. 

The anticipated executive order is consistent with broader efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.  In late 2013, the President and congressional Democrats released a plan to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour nationally.  It is anticipated that the President’s executive order will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and apply to all qualifying federal contracts entered into after the executive order takes effect.  Although the President cannot unilaterally raise the national minimum wage, he has the authority to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors by executive order.  The President has issued a series of executive orders starting in the early days of his administration directly affecting the contracting community.