The District has raised its minimum wage from $3.90 an hour to $4.85, a pay increase that is expected to directly benefit an estimated 15,000 minimum-wage workers in the city.

The overall 24.3 percent increase, approved by the District's Wage and Hour Board, went into effect Dec. 18 and covers a large, miscellaneous category of jobs and employers who are not covered by the District's eight other wage categories, according to a board spokesman.

The so-called miscellaneous category includes parking attendants, carwash attendants, security guards, theater ushers, furniture movers, temporary warehouse workers and cab, bus and truck drivers.

Minimum wage for categories covering retail, trade, laundry and dry-cleaning workers has not yet been reviewed by the board. Minimum wage for hotel, restaurant, apartment building and allied industry workers is under review, with an increase expected to be approved this fall.

Richard R. Seideman, associate director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services' wage and hour office, said yesterday that certain groups of workers are paid less than the new minimum wage, particularly if they receive tips in addition to their regular pay.

Parking attendants, for example, are paid $4.50 an hour, he said, while carwash attendants receive $4.35. But day laborers and ushers, who aren't normally tipped, receive $4.65 an hour, up from the previous $3.75 an hour. All other groups of workers in the miscellaneous category receive $4.85 an hour.

Seideman said new employees hired at the minimum wage receive $4.25 an hour for the first 30 days of employment before they start earning the top minimum wage of $4.85.