Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Voters raise minimum wages

In other election news, low-paid workers will get raises due to ballot initiatives in three cities.

Voters raise minimum wages

Voters in several cities approved ballot measures on raising the minimum wage.
Voters in several cities approved ballot measures on raising the minimum wage.

In other election news, low-paid workers will get raises due to ballot initiatives in three cities.

In Albuquerque, the minimum wage will rise from $7.50 to $8.50 an hour, starting in January, with automatic cost-of-living increases, a move that may affect 40,000 or one-seventh of the city's workers, said the National Employment Law Project, citing a New Mexican study.

San Jose workers will receive $10 an hour, up from California's $8 an hour minimum wage, again with an automatic cost of living increase built in. NELP cites a University of California study that says that 69,000 workers, or 18 percent of the workforce, will benefit.

In Long Beach, the raise applies only to hotel workers, moving them to $13 an hour and guaranteeing them five days of sick pay a year.

In each case, NELP estimates an economic boost leading to more hiring, as the minimum wage workers now have more spending power. 

“With growing numbers of working families relying on low-wage jobs to make ends meet, the voters recognize that raising the minimum wage fulfills our basic obligation to ensure that work provides a path out of poverty. Higher wages for the lowest-paid workers in our economy will promote upward economic mobility and help accelerate the post-recession recovery,” executive director Christine Owens said in a statement.

There are many other groups, obviously, that argue the opposite -- saying that raises will discourage employers from adding staff.  


Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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