By Clarissa Toll |Staff Writer|
The minimum wage will rise to $10.10 an hour if a recent proposal put forth by the Democrats passes the Senate.
As it stands now, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
If the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 were to pass, it would be the first significant increase the country has seen on Federal minimum wage in more than four years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division chart.
The rise in wages is claimed to be needed because of inflation, in which President Barack Obama explained in his state of the Union Address where he originally proposed an increase to $9.
The Federal minimum wage raise proposal has followed shortly after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that promises the California’s minimum wage to rise to $10 by 2016.
‘This proposal has been claimed to have the possibility of drastically altering American way of life.
According to “The Huffington Post,” “A leap to $10.10, however, could be enough to push a large number of the working poor out of poverty.”
In a study done by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROCU), it’s claimed, “Nearly six million workers would be lifted out of poverty if the minimum wage were raised to $10.10 as has been proposed in Congress.”
According to the ROCU, this figure represents 58 percent of the 10 million working poor who fall below poverty levels. Although some experts believe a raise such as this will cause damage to employment rates.
William Dunkleberg, a contributor for Forbes, stated last year, “Raising the cost of labor raises the incentive for employers to find ways to use less labor. Most minimum wage earners are not in poverty, yet their employment opportunities are impaired as well as those who are.”
Dunkleberg adds, “This is but one of the poorly designed policies that are created by politicians who have little or no understanding of how business works.”
CSUSB economic experts have weighed in on the issue, as well.
Professor Eric Nilsson of CSUSB’s department of Economics, stated in an e-mail that in past years economists thought an increased minimum wage would cause a significant loss in jobs for low wage workers, but the idea has since been proven wrong.
“In recent years many economists have become less concerned about job losses following an increase in the minimum wage as high quality empirical research has revealed that increased minimum wages don’t seem to lead to much, if any, job losses,” added Nilsson.
This past March, the House Republicans unanimously voted against the same legislation that the President now stands behind.
As stated on raisetheminimumwage.com, “Raising wages reduces costly employee turnover and increases productivity. When the minimum wage goes up, employers can enjoy these benefits of paying higher wages without being placed at a competitive disadvantage, since all companies in their field are required to do the same.”
Student Kiersti Tesar said she believes that a raise so significant as this would give the wrong impression to those within the workforce.
“Minimum wage jobs were meant as stepping stones for people and a way for a college students to put themselves through school. They shouldn’t be seen as desirable jobs to and keep nor should they be viewed as a career path,” said Tesar.
More information of the bill’s progress can be found searching Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 at beta.congress.gov.