President’s $9.00 Minimum Wage Proposal Ignites National Fair Wage Debate

via Press-Enterprise (for the entire article visit link)

http://www.pe.com/business/business-headlines/20130216-economy-debate-over-minimum-wage-erupts-amid-fragile-recovery.ece

“The difference between the current federal minimum of $7.25 and Obama’s proposal of $9 would put an extra $70 a week into the hands of a worker such as Hurtado.

A statewide study by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC Berkeley found that out of a workforce of 16.6 million in California, 12 percent make less than $8.80 per hour.

There is no breakdown for local areas, but the nature of Inland Southern California’s workforce suggests substantial numbers of people fall into low-wage categories.

According to the latest data from the state Employment Development Department, about 335,000 people in San Bernardino and Riverside counties worked in either the retail or accommodations industries or in temporary jobs in December, or about 28 percent of all workers who were on payrolls.

That figure includes managerial staff, but many in those industries are low-end workers.

WON’T ‘BUY YOU A HAMBURGER’

Farrokh Harmozi, an economist at Pace University in New York City, said he strongly favors an increase. He said that the argument that it would mostly benefit “rich kids,” teens who drive their parents’ expensive cars to part-time jobs, is flawed, because studies show that 85 percent are 20 years old or older.

“My feeling is that $7.25 is not even going to buy you a hamburger. It’s a shame to pay someone at that rate,” Harmozi said.”

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