EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMinimum Wage Hikes In Some States Fuels Debate
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Kristine Frazao
Reported: Sep. 20, 2013 4:36 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 20, 2013 4:53 PM EDT
California is poised to start paying the highest minimum wage in the country, making it the 13th state this year to raise minimum wages.
But who is it truly helping?
A report by Sinclair Broadcasting Group national correspondent Kristine Frazao found that minimum hourly wages are on the rise across the nation after years of stagnation.
At least a dozen states, including Ohio, Oregon and Florida, boosted minimum pay this year above the federal rate of $7.25 an hour. California is on the verge of setting a new high within the United States with a $10 an hour minimum.
"Do we want as a nation to price teenagers and young 20 year olds out of the job market?" said Dave Norman, president of Davco, one of the largest fast food companies in the United States with more than 150 Wendy's restaurants.
As minimum wages rise to $10 or more, Norman said older workers will replace teens and 20 somethings, it will spur more automation and likely lead to closing less profitable stores..
"The minimum wage was never intended to be the sole support of a family of four," Norman said.
But finance expert Steven Isberg said that was before the great recession and before the coming of the global wage.
Not every state, however, is ready to jump on the jack-up-the minimum wage wagon. Maine and the District of Columbia, which already offer higher hourly rates than the federal minimum, rejected proposals to increase it.
But 34 more states, including Maryland, Illinois and Wisconsin are seriously contemplating higher minimum wages. There is even been talk on Capitol Hill of raising the federal minimum.
Norman said if it's raised on a national level “then we have a level playing field for all the employers and we will have to deal with it."
To see a list of the minimum wages in various states, visit here
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