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Gap raising minimum wage for its US employees

Gap plans to raise minimum wage for US employees to $9 an hour in 2014 and $10 an hour in 2015

NEW YORK (AP) -- Clothing chain Gap says it will raise the minimum hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $10 in 2015.

The San Francisco company said Wednesday that the minimum wage for workers at all of its brands will be raised to $9 an hour in 2014 and $10 an hour in 2015. Gap said the increases will affect about 65,000 store employees.

Gap Inc.'s stores include Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

President Barack Obama applauded the move by Gap, noting that in his State of the Union address last month, he had asked businesses to do what they can to raise wages. Obama has also signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for workers covered by new federal contracts to $10.10.

But Obama said only Congress can act raise wages nationwide, urging the House and Senate to take up a bill that Democrats are pushing.

"It's time to pass that bill and give America a raise," Obama said in a statement.

Gap shares fell 4 cents to $42.19 on Wednesday.