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Postby rath » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:14 am

U.S. minimum wage at $7.25 after third boost in 3 years

Between 3 million and 5 million workers in the U.S. will see their pay increase after the federal minimum wage goes from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour, said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. She said she expects minimal impact on employers, but small-business owners said complying with the law will be challenging considering today's economic conditions. "In this economy, you can't raise prices," said Bob McGrath, owner of Olympia Candies.


The third minimum wage increase in three years, effective Friday, is a moneymaker and a money-taker: Millions of workers soon will see pumped-up paychecks, while many already-struggling businesses face the burden of increased payroll costs.

Between 3 million and 5 million people will be affected by the minimum wage rise from $6.55 per hour to $7.25 per hour, says Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

Workers in 30 states and industries covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to the new wage. Those employed in the District of Columbia — where the minimum wage is set at $1 more than the federal minimum wage — also will get a boost, to $8.25.

"The extra disposable income comes to about $120 a month," says Solis. She expects workers to spend much of that cash in their local communities.

But business owners such as Robert Mayfield, who owns five Dairy Queen restaurants in central Texas, don't expect any increased spending to offset the added salary expenses.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Fair Labor Standards Act

Mayfield says he'll have to increase his rates to more than $8 an hour to remain competitive with rival employers who will now pay $7.25.

"We were already paying a good bit more than the minimum, but that's what it took to get good people," he says. "You have to stay competitive."

Olympia Candies owner Bob McGrath says he already cut the salaries and work hours of some sweet shop employees to deal with the economic doldrums, so being forced to pay more for his minimum-wage workers just doesn't make sense.

"Here we're having (employees) take pay cuts, but we're hiking minimum wage," he says. "Something is wrong."

Friday's is the final increase based on 2007 legislation. On July 24, 2007, rates rose to $5.85 per hour. One year later, they hit $6.55. Solis says these salary bumps were a long time coming — the prior minimum wage bump was in 1997.

The Labor Department's Solis expects the financial impact on businesses to be minimal. And besides, she says, firms had quite awhile to prepare for the financial hit. "Many businesses have already planned ahead," she says.

Yet, McGrath, of Cleveland, says the current economic conditions make this increase particularly difficult.

"In this economy, you can't raise prices," he says. "Margins are getting hammered," but to retain customers, he's still offering discounts on his sweets. "It's definitely a challenging time," he says.
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Postby greeney2 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:18 am

Just a little under .75 cents and hour raise= $30 week= $1500 year. 25% will go right back into taxes= $1200 year total per year in their pockets. Thats if they work 40 hours per week every week for 52 weeks. After taxes this amounts to another $4.50 take home per day=$18 per week more. Every penny counts, but it will probably result in 40 hours being cut by a few hours if you are in retail businesses, if you are factory workers they will expect better production and issue some furlough days when they want to. Factories are now starting to add furlough days to things like holiday weekends, where production on the last day ends up very slow production days anyway. My company just started a policy of 5 furlough days per year, regardless of saleried or union jobs, and have been on days adjoining holidays. Everyone is happy to get the additional day off and a 4 day weekend, more than missing the money.
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Postby rath » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:42 am

see reply in thread ...... Australian min wage.
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Postby CodeBlack » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:20 am

More like Europe everyday. Soon the unemployment will be like Europe at permanent 20%. More "days off" (days without income) like Europe's 3 months per year, counting vacation days, sick days, holidays, sabbatical, paternal, maternal, mental health days, green days, other. More days per week closed government offices. Why work at all? Why produce at all? Lets get back to nature where we don't bathe, don't shave, wear rags, dig in the dirt for grubs, sit around with flies all around our face. Oh wait wrong continent. :(
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Postby rath » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:22 am

CodeBlack wrote:More like Europe everyday. Soon the unemployment will be like Europe at permanent 20%. More "days off" (days without income) like Europe's 3 months per year, counting vacation days, sick days, holidays, sabbatical, paternal, maternal, mental health days, green days, other. More days per week closed government offices. Why work at all? Why produce at all? Lets get back to nature where we don't bathe, don't shave, wear rags, dig in the dirt for grubs, sit around with flies all around our face. Oh wait wrong continent. :(



More like Europe everyday......... Never,
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