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Entries in Minimum Wage (4)

Wednesday
Jul112012

City Budget Problems: San Bernardino, California Files for Bankruptcy

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cities across the country are increasingly facing severe budget problems, and that's leading many of them to cut corners or consider bankruptcy.

On Tuesday, San Bernardino became the third city in California to file for bankruptcy protection in less than a month.  Stockton filed last month and the ski resort town of Mammoth Lakes voted to file last week.

The alternative to bankruptcy can be drastic spending cuts. That's happening in some other cities, like Scranton, Pa.  Municipal unions there are filing a lawsuit after the mayor decided to cut the pay of city employees to minimum wage -- $7.25 an hour.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May142012

Missouri Petitions to Raise Minimum Wage

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What's the national minimum wage? If you're, say, one of three Republican candidates running in Missouri's U.S. Senate primary, you might be hard-pressed to remember it (it's $7.25).

But if you're one of about 173,000 people living in Missouri, you can probably rattle it off the top of your head. That's the number of people in Missouri -- enough signatures to put the measure on the November ballot -- who signed a petition to raise the state's minimum wage from the national average per hour to $8.25 in 2013, and provide for cost-of-living adjustments in the future.

The measure would also require that employees who earn tips receive 60 percent of the state minimum wage, up from the current 50 percent. And if the federal minimum wage rises above the state rate, then Missouri would adopt the federal wage and apply cost-of-living adjustments to that.

There's a good chance that the measure will pass. Missouri Jobs with Justice, a backer of the minimum wage proposal, supported a successful campaign in 2006 to approve a ballot measure that raised Missouri's minimum wage to $6.50, with adjusted cost-of-living increases.

But not everyone is in favor of it. Some critics of the change says the ballot summaries and cost estimates for the proposals are unfair.

Many economists maintain that raising the minimum wage can negatively impact employment numbers, especially among teenagers and young workers. Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James Equity Research, in St. Petersburg, Fla., said that he does not think the Missouri situation would cause any problems. "It's probably not going to matter much," he said. "The typical concern is that it will lead to less-entry level jobs for young people. That's the fear. But again -- what's the going wage and what are the typical starting salaries in an office or fast food? Very often those are well above the minimum wage in some areas."

On its website, the U.S. Department of Labor lists the states whose minimum wage is above the national average, below, the same -- or doesn't have a minimum wage law. (23 states have a minimum wage at the federal level of $7.25.)

Here's the top states with the highest minimum wages:

1. Washington

$9.04

2. Oregon

$8.80

3. Vermont

$8.46

4. Nevada, Connecticut, Illinois

$8.25

Here are the bottom states with the lowest minimum:


47. Arkansas

$6.25

(Applicable to employers of 4 or more)

48. Georgia

$5.15

49. Minnesota

Small employer (enterprise with annual receipts of less than $625,000) $5.25

Large employer (enterprise with annual receipts of $625,000 or more) $6.15

50. Wyoming

$5.15

(Applicable to employers of 4 or more employees)

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec152011

Obama Announces New Minimum Wage Rules for Home Caregivers

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As part of his ongoing executive action campaign, President Obama Thursday announced new rules to provide minimum wage and overtime protections for the nearly 1.8 million workers who provide in-home care to the elderly.

“As the home-care business has changed over the years, the law hasn’t changed to keep up. So even though workers … do everything from bathing to cooking, they’re still lumped in the same category as teenage babysitters when it comes to how much they make,” Obama said at a “We Can’t Wait” event at the White House. “That’s just wrong. In this country, it’s inexcusable.”

Workers classified as “companions” do not qualify for minimum wage and overtime pay. Such workers were exempted under 1974 guidelines that were meant to apply to casual babysitters and companions for the elderly.

“I can tell you firsthand that these men and women, they work their tails off, and they don’t complain. They deserve to be treated fairly. They deserve to be paid fairly for a service that many older Americans couldn’t live without. And companies who do pay fair wages to these women shouldn’t be put at a disadvantage,” the president said.

While the provisions in the president’s $447 billion American Jobs Act remain stalled on Capitol Hill, Obama has been taking small unilateral actions to boost job growth and foster his image as a president taking charge of the economy.

Obama was joined at Thursday’s event by Pauline Beck, a home-care worker from California whom the president met during his 2008 campaign when Beck was Obama’s boss for a day as part of a “Walk a Day in My Shoes” event.

“Heroic work and hard work: That’s what Pauline was all about,” the president said. “She was glad to be working hard, and she was glad to be helping someone. All she wanted in return for a hard day’s work was enough to take care of those kids she was going home to, enough to save a little bit for retirement, maybe take a day off once in a while to rest her aching back.

“Americans all deserve a fair shake and a fair shot. And as long as I have the honor of serving as president, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that those very modest expectations are fulfilled,” Obama concluded.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec222010

Minimum Wage to Increase in Seven States

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- A planned increase of the minimum wage, intended to counterbalance economic inflation, will take place in seven states Jan. 1.

The Keystone Research Center reports that the wage adjustments, expected to range from nine to 12 cents, will "modestly boost the incomes" of about 647,000 minimum wage workers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington State.  The pay raises came about through six state ballot initiatives and 2005 legislation in Vermont.

Keystone Research Center labor economist Mark Price hails the wage increases, and expects the new wages will boost economic recovery on state and federal levels.

"Long term, boosting the incomes of working families and strengthening the middle class are the only ways to restore healthy job growth without sustainable deficit spending," said Price. "Increasing the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation would be a great place to start."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio