Impact of Minimum Wage Uncertain

Workers in 30 states and the District of Columbia have been affected by the June 24 increase in the federal minimum wage from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour, but the question of whether the increase will help or hurt the economy remains to be seen. “Families are relying on low minimum wages more than ever,” said Paul Sonn of the National Employment Law Project. “There is a widespread misconception that minimum-wage workers are largely comprised of teenagers working for spare change, but the demographic of minimum-wage workers is overwhelmingly adults.” U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a statement that the wage increase will generate an extra $5.5 billion in consumer spending over the next year. The federal increase was the last step in a minimum-wage increase phased in over a three-year period.   

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