The final installment of a three-part increase in the federal minimum wage is proving to be the most controversial.
Two previous wage hikes, one in 2007, the other in 2008, pushed the federal wage to $5.85 and then to the current $6.55 an hour. The third, which goes into effect Friday, will push it to $7.25 an hour.
That’s not a life-changing raise — an extra $28 a week for a fulltime worker earning the federal minimum — though low-wage earners like Kendell Patterson in Oklahoma City, Okla., say it’ll help.
But some economists worry that the wage hike is coming at the worst possible time and will only make the recession-battered job market tougher for the very workers it’s intended to help.
The increase will have minimal impact in most states. Eighteen states and the District of Colombia already have minimum wages that are higher or equal to $7.25 an hour. In nine more, the minimum wage is higher than $6.55 an hour and so workers in those states will see their wages rise by only a fraction of the 70-cents-an-hour increase, from four cents an hour in Florida to 40 cents an hour in Nevada.
That leaves 23 states where minimum wage workers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act will enjoy the full 70-cents-an-hour increase.
Oh boy….another round of complaints about the destruction of the economy for $28.00a week per increased wage. God help our stingy little hearts when it comes to everyman, and not the Sachs bonuses.
Update: I think some of the commenters forgot who funded the recent bonuses…see write up here at Naked Capitalism…