New Castle County, home to Wilmington and almost two-thirds of Delaware's 925,000 people, plans to raise its minimum wage for county employees to $10.10 an hour, effective July 1.
Elected county executive Tom Gordon, a Democrat, plans to sign the increase into law this afternoon, in solidarity with President Obama's planned national minimum wage hike. Spokesman Antonio Prado says the county employs fewer than 50 workers currently earning below that wage; the total varies seasonally. The move is mostly symbolic; Gordon hopes private employers will follow and boost their lowest paid.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. In a statement, Gordon said he was trying to strike a blow against "income and wealth inequality... While corporate profits, worker productivity, and the S&P 500 are at all-time highs, wages have stagnated."