These days most stories about jobs are bad news. It's a topic dominated by the media's constant spotlight on high unemployment figures, jobs cuts, and controversial stimulus efforts. However, in some places there's good news to report, at least for low wage workers. The Huffington Post says that four states have decided to raise their minimum wage.
Workers in Colorado, Montana, and Ohio should prepare for extra money on their paychecks. And with its 37-cent bump, the Huffington Post, says Washington state leads the pack in becoming the first in the country with a minimum wage over $9 per hour.
According to Time, the new minimum wage rates will go into effect at the beginning of next year. The magazine also notes that Oregon announced a 30-cent increase for 2012 last month.
The Huffington Post says similar hikes are expected to be announced next month in Arizona, Florida and Vermont.
Time explains the wave of increases noting that, in total, 10 states adjust minimum wages every year based on the inflation rate.
While something is indeed better than nothing, it must be remembered that these increases are of minimum wages that even once augmented will still allow the recipients to be classified as low wage workers.
Time puts the figures into perspective: The increases in these four states range from 28 to 37 cents per hour. That’s $582 and $770 a year for someone who works full-time.
Though this is not a lot of money on an individual basis, there are benefits.
Advocates for low-wage workers argue that in addition to helping the working poor make ends meet, higher minimum wages help pump money into local economies, since such workers often have no choice but to spend their entire paychecks, says the Huffington Post.
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