A year ago, President Obama signed a bill that raised the federal minimum wage of usps dallas ga from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. The idea was to help people living on the edge of poverty get a little bit closer to a sustainable income and live a somewhat decent life.
But not all states agreed with this concept of increased minimum wage, as they feared it would force employers in their state to lay off workers or even close up shop altogether, as they could no longer afford such high labor costs.
1. California and Alaska
This was the first to pass a law banning the minimum wage from increasing, and it was followed by Nebraska, New Hampshire and Maine. Since then, no other state has dared to increase the minimum wage.
2. California’s Crumbling Economy
The fact that the state’s economy is in such bad shape is no secret. The unemployment rate of 9.8 percent is one of the highest in America, something only matched by Nevada (15 percent). 6 percent of residents are out of work, which is more than twice as much as Oregon’s 3.5 percent unemployment rate. Congress has also cut $6.5 billion from the California budget this year, which forced them to lay off more than 25,000 temporary employees at the state’s public university and other public agencies.
3. California is an Urban State
Los Angeles has a population of over 6 million people, but it is also home to millions of people residing in surrounding areas around it. In fact, over half of all Californians live in an urban setting (53 percent), which is much more than the overall national average (41 percent). This means that many residents of California would be unable to support themselves if they suddenly found themselves without a job or an income source.
4. The Minimum Wage Has Been Increasing for a While
After being at $7.25 for 10 years, it was raised to $8 per hour in 2008 and then to $9 per hour in 2011. This was the first time that the minimum wage was raised in a year, and California had been waiting for this moment ever since.
5. A Political Battle between Democrats and Republicans
Ever since President Obama took office, he has not only sought to improve the economy by creating new jobs but also increase the minimum wage to help out struggling Americans. This goal has been supported by Democrats for years, but Republicans believe that it will force employers to lay off workers by increasing operating costs.
6. More Minimum Wage Laws
There are 21 states that have laws against increasing the minimum wage, but there are also 28 states that have minimum wages higher than $7.25 an hour, with Washington topping the list at $9.32 an hour. California is one of these states, where the minimum wage is currently $9 per hour and will increase to $10 per hour in 2016.
7. The Result of a Political Battle
This is not the first time that minimum wage has been increased. It has been increased three times since 1996, and each time it has been defeated by Republicans. This year was different, as the bill passed easily with a unanimous vote in the Senate.
8. Where Will California’s Minimum Wage Increase?
On July 1, 2016, it will increase from $9 to $10 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and for all employees working in America’s most populous state. On September 14 of this year, it will be raised from $10 to $10.50 until it reaches the federal rate of $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2023. After that, it will be increased in small increments to match the increases in the federal budget each year.
9. The States that Prefer a Federal Minimum Wage
Closely following is Washington (with $9.32 per hour), which is followed by Oregon (12.50) and Alaska (13). After California’s vote, ten states will have a higher minimum wage than California: New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont are beneficiaries of this legislation as well.
10. The Effects of an Increased Minimum Wage
A recent study by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, specifically looked into what would happen if California raised the minimum wage to $10.50 from its current rate of $9 per hour. They found that this would reduce hours worked by 6.1 percent (a drop of about 18 million hours each year), would reduce state GDP by one percent ($2 billion), decrease sales tax revenue by $279 million, and lead to a reduction in employment by 400,000 jobs (or 0.5 percent).
11. A Controversial Fight
Proponents argued that raising the minimum wage will lead to better-paid workers and will have positive effects on local economies and the economy as a whole. Opponents argued that it is a bad idea, as minimum wage jobs are ones that employers can easily automate. They also believe that raising the wage will force businesses to lay off people, who will end up on food stamps if they cannot find new jobs at the lower wage.
12. Proponents Have Long Wanted a Federal Minimum Wage
Some Republicans have long argued for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which would help out all low-wage workers in America and be better for the economy as a whole. In fact, several members of Congress have supported increasing the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has supported raising the minimum wage to $9, while Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) has supported increasing it to $8.50. However, both have said that any increase should be phased in slowly.