Minimum wage hike not huge help

Jeff Tyler Jul 24, 2009
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Minimum wage hike not huge help

Jeff Tyler Jul 24, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The Federal minimum wage goes up today by 70 cents — it’s now 7-25 an hour. This is the third and final of the increases that have been phased in the last several years. Marketplace’s Jeff Tyler looks at what the pay raise means for workers and employers.


Jeff Tyler: As you might expect, employers aren’t thrilled about paying workers more today for the same job they did yesterday. Especially during a recession.

Bill Dunkelberg is chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Bill Dunkelberg: Certainly it’s going to raise costs substantially, especially for small businesses where 80 percent of our costs are typically labor costs.

For those who get the raise, it won’t go far.

Heidi Shierholz is an economist at the Economic Policy Institute:

Heidi Shierholz: When you account for inflation, the real value, the purchasing power of the minimum wage today, is actually far lower than it was 40 years ago.

A full-time minimum-wage worker will now earn less than $15,000 a year. On that income, a two-person family lives below the federal poverty level.

I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

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