Raising New York’s minimum wage would help the middle class more than the poor, according to a study out today.Most minimum-wage workers are teens or second earners in otherwise middle-class homes, the Washington-based Employment Policies Institute found.Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has made a bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 in 2013 — and then increase it annually according to inflation — his top priority this year.
Most minimum-wage workers are teens or second earners in otherwise middle-class homes, the Washington-based Employment Policies Institute found.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has made a bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 in 2013 — and then increase it annually according to inflation — his top priority this year.
Lawmakers in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey and New York are pushing to hike the minimum wage above $7.25. A joint committee on labor okayed a proposal to propel the Massachusetts entry-level wage to $10 an hour, which would bypass Washington state’s starting wage of $9.04, currently the highest in the United States.Congress has felt the pressure of these state movements, too, as labor and liberal groups are asking Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, to spearhead a proposal to advance the federal minimum wage to $9.80 an hour within two years.Democrats and labor both say it’s time for another raise because of the Occupy Wall Street message and to spur voters to support their candidates. “It’s always good to surface an issue that captures voters’ enthusiasm and distinguishes the bad guys and the good guys,” said Jen Kern, minimum-wage campaign coordinator at the National Employment Law Project.
Gov. Cuomo leans toward a minimum wage hike this year:
Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday said a minimum wage hike “would be in order” this year.“Especially in times like now,” the governor added during a public radio appearance, marking the first time he’s shown support for a legislative measure calling for pay bumps above the current $7.25 per hour“You can have a discussion about how much over what period of time.”Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) has proposed hiking the current minimum to $8.50 an hour.
During the campaign, Barack Obama promised to increase the federal minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. This increase, he argued, would allow full-time workers to "earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing – things so many people take for granted."The federal minimum wage increased as recently as July 24, 2009, from $6.55 to $7.25. That was the third of the increases that Congress approved in 2007.We haven't heard much from President Obama on the topic of minimum wage, except as a side issue during discussions of immigration reform and the historical role of labor unions. We reviewed his public statements since taking office and couldn't find any mention of his plans to raise it to $9.50.We didn't find any pending bills in Congress that would raise the minimum wage. But there is a bill, introduced by Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, that calls for the minimum wage increase to be postponed until July 24, 2010.We also searched statements made by Obama to see if, since taking office, he has provided a plan, or at least a broad outline, of how he plans to implement this proposal. We didn't find one.Obama has until 2011 to keep this promise. We expect we'll probably see some progress in 2010. But there's been no action so far, so for now, we're rating it Stalled.
The months-long effort to increase the minimum wage for millions of New Yorkers is dead, officials said Monday."To say it is dead is to suggest it was alive in the first place, which it was not," a state official familiar with the private dealings in Albany said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the Assembly's Democratic majority is still trying to get the measure passed.The Assembly will vote on its own version of the bill Tuesday, but Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has said repeatedly the bill won't reach the Senate floor, a view rank & file Republicans share after recent closed-door conferences.
A push to increase Illinois’ minimum wage advanced in the General Assembly on Wednesday, but the sponsor of the legislation suggested it could be months before the measure is called for a vote in the full Senate.State Sen. Kim Lightford, D-Maywood, said she wants to continue negotiating details in her proposal with business groups who are opposed to her plan to boost the current rate of $8.25 per hour to more than $10 an hour by 2015.
Studies: Increasing The Minimum Wage During Times Of High Unemployment Doesn’t Hurt Job Growth
A significant body of academic research has found that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses even during hard economic times. There are at least five different academic studies focusing on increases to the minimum wage—including increases ranging from 7 percent to 12.3 percent made during periods of high unemployment—that find an increase in the minimum wage has no significant effect on employment levels. The results are likely because the boost in demand and reduction in turnover provided by a minimum wage counteracts the higher wage costs. Similarly, a simple analysis of increases to the minimum wage on the state level, even during periods of state unemployment rates above 8 percent, shows that the minimum wage does not kill jobs. Indeed the states in our simple analysis had job growth slightly above the national average. [...] All the studies came to the same conclusion—that raising the minimum wage had no effect on employment.
France to Lift Minimum Wage in Bid to Rev Up Economy
French Socialist President François Hollande is set to increase the minimum wage by more than inflation, betting consumers will help revive the country's stalling economy, while his government levies more taxes on the wealthy and large corporations in a bid to reduce the budget deficit.Departing from a tradition of strictly pegging the minimum wage to the consumer-price index, the government said the Smic, as it is known here, would increase by 2% as of July 1.
The federal minimum has been at $7.25 since 2009. It is the result of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which raised the federal minimum wage in three steps from $5.15 per hour to $5.85 per hour on July 24, 2007, to $6.55 per hour on July 24, 2008, and finally to $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009.Three Democratic members of Congress think it’s time to raise the minimum wage.Reps. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio recently announced the introduction of the “Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012” at a press conference in Washington, D.C. H.R. 5901, which was introduced in Congress by Jackson on June 6, currently has twenty co-sponsors. It would raise the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour effective “60 days after the date of enactment of the Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012” and tie further increases every year “to the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers for the preceding year.”The idea behind the bill’s title is that at $10 an hour, the minimum wage would be about what it was in 1968, when adjusted for inflation.“This legislation is long-overdue and sorely needed,” said Conyers. “More than 30 million Americans would see their wages increased, which would provide an immediate boost to the economy.”Barack Obama hasn’t yet endorsed the bill, although as president-elect he pledged to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011 and index it to inflation.
NJ Democrats fumble the minimum wage increase:
It is no secret that Gov. Chris Christie has been hostile to the growing number of working-poor families in this state.He raised their income taxes, cut aid to cities, closed health clinics for uninsured women, is raiding funds earmarked for affordable housing and is trying to reshape the Supreme Court so he can cut funds for urban schools. He is what he is.But it’s a shock, and a profound disappointment, to see Democrats fail to rally in their defense.This week, we learned that the minimum wage will not increase in July, as planned. And this time, Democrats can’t blame the governor. Thanks to their tactical bumbling, they failed to put the bill on Christie’s desk.
Left pushes for $10 minimum wage, but House Democratic leadership balks
The House Democrats pushing for a steep hike in the minimum wage could face an unlikely foe: their own leadership.Behind Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.), almost two dozen liberal Democrats endorsed legislation this week to raise the federal minimum wage immediately from $7.25 to $10 per hour, the first such increase in three years.The lawmakers think they’ve found a winning issue in an election cycle that’s featured the rise of the Occupy movement, criticism of Mitt Romney’s path to wealth and a class-centered fight over the Bush-era tax rates.But no Democratic leaders have endorsed the measure, and the silence coming from their offices this week has highlighted the potential political difficulty in raising the minimum wage — a move that’s anathema to the powerful business lobby — amid sluggish economic times.
Workers Will Protest For Minimum Wage This Thursday in Chile
The Workers’ United Center of Chile (CUT), a union federation, called for a protest on Thursday July 5 concerning recent debates surrounding the minimum wage. The protest will begin at 11:30 a.m, leaving from Plaza Los Héroes and heading toward La Moneda, the Presidential palace.Arturo Martínez, president of the CUT, declared: “On Thursday, the people will mobilize to make our proposal for a 250,000 minimum wage heard by the government.”Martínez expressed his frustration at the stagnancy of the motions to increase minimum wage in Chile. “The current minimum wage is simply too low. We must have a minimum wage that conforms to the needs of the Chilean people and homes; not a minimum wage that is based on mere technical figures,” he said.
Opponents of raising the minimum wage assert that doing so would have devastating effects on small businesses and would cause the unemployment rate to skyrocket once again. However, research indicates that increasing the minimum wage has historically had little effect on unemployment rates. In some instances, raising the minimum wage was found to correlate with reductions in unemployment rates. Furthermore, restructuring the state minimum wage law to allow for an automatic annual adjustment to accommodate changes in the cost of living would eliminate the sticker shock that comes with the current practice of increasing the minimum wage by a relatively dramatic amount every five years or so. One of the major shortcomings of the current Illinois law is its failure to automatically adjust the minimum wage to accommodate the changing cost of living. Because of this, the purchasing power of a minimum wage income in today’s market is considerably less than what it was in 1968. Therefore it is proposed in the current legislation that the minimum wage be adjusted so that it once again has the same buying power as it did in 1968, and that it be annually adjusted to accommodate changes in the cost of living. These amendments may still fall short of making the minimum wage a living wage in all areas of the state, and the degree to which they may impact the poverty rate in Illinois is still unknown. It is certain that making these two changes to the minimum wage law would be an important step towards reducing the number of people living in poverty while maintaining full-time employment.
A couple of days ago the radio network did a story on whether the federal minimum wage should be raised to $9.88 an hour. One woman interviewed for the story is a 50-year-old woman in Chicago who earns minimum wage pushing disabled people in wheelchairs from one airport gate to another. She pays $850 a month for an apartment for herself and her four children in a bad neighborhood. She worries every morning that one of her kids might be shot on the way to school. It's that sort of neighborhood, but she can't afford any better.They can't pay the full rent so the kids keep the lawn trimmed and other repairs made in exchange for a break. Raising the minimum wage by even $1 an hour would mean she could buy new things occasionally instead of clothing the kids from thrift stores. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who introduced the bill, said the research shows that boosting the minimum wage actually helps the economy overall because people have more money to spend.
House Democrats – over 100 of them – introduced a bill yesterday to raise the minimum wage, from the current $7.25 an hour up to $9.80. The minimum wage was last increased in 2009. I have no idea whether this is the beginning of a major push or not, but I suspect this one has a lot more going for it than stories of Mitt Romney’s London gaffes, both in electoral and certainly substantive importance.The minimum wage has been so ignored recently that (at least according to one polling archive site) pollsters haven’t bothered asking about it since January 2007, when the question was about raising it from $5.15 an hour. But it’s worth noting that public opinion then was overwhelmingly in favor of the increase. CBS had 68% approving, the AP had 80%, CNN had 86%, a separate CBS/New York Times polls had 85% (and 75% of Republicans) in favor, and NBC had 76% supporting an increase. The result was a three-step increase. That brought the inflation-adjusted rate to a post-Reagan high, but still significantly lower than it had been in the 1960s and 1970s, and of course even with low inflation it’s been losing value since then.
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