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Effect of the Minimum Wage Increase on Retail and Small Business

Posted By: Staff Editor In: Fashion and Retail

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a startling and swift raise of the national minimum wage. He presented his plans to implement a 24% increase of $1.75 per hour, bringing minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00. The change would take full effect in 2015, which many feel is too much too soon for low-margin businesses to be able to adapt. "You take that kind of increase and you are going to see some reaction, some layoffs, some increases in inflation," Bob Gorland, an expert who specializes in supermarket and retail center feasibility studies and vice president in the Harrisburg office of Matthew P. Casey and Associates, said in response to the president’s proposal. 

 

Small business owner Ron Taylor predicted his business would not be able to maintain its current staff if the change goes through. "It would probably result in less manpower hours," Taylor said, explaining that if the minimum wage goes up, the number of people he employs could go down. “It's one of the things that as small business owners we hate to do because we have relationships with these people, but from our standpoint it's a matter of survival.” Most of minimum wage employees are college students. He fears that letting them go would compromise the level of customer service his customers expect.

 

While the number of layoffs increases, the amount of available jobs decreases. Fewer stores will open, and existing businesses will have to find creative ways to cover the cost of maintaining their current workforce. "When you raise the minimum wage a lot of employers at these entry levels don't do as much hiring, so simply just mandating something from Washington again to the private sector doesn't solve our problem," U.S. Senator Dan Coats said. Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Spokeswoman Lesley Smith agrees, "A minimum wage increase would fall hard on small businesses that continue to struggle in this economy and that still face uncertainty about what it is going to cost to operate their business moving forward." Even large companies are concerned about the pending proposal and are reacting to the wage hike already. The CEO of J.C. Penney, Ron Johnson, announced that he plans to eliminate traditional checkout methods in an attempt to decrease the cost of labor.

 

As minimum wage increases, retailers will need to cover the increases in labor costs with price increases. "It would be offset with some slightly higher pricing to pay for it," Gorland said. “Whether it be at a grocery store or a pharmacy. If retailers need to tweak their pricing to reflect the higher cost, that would affect the consumers." Consumers will be the ones stuck paying at least part of the bill for raising the minimum.

 

John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, told NJ Biz that raising the pay of the lowest-wage workers will have a ripple effect, putting pressure on employers to raise pay for workers higher on the pay scale. Smith explains, "Businesses understand that in order to attract quality workers, they need to offer competitive wages. The problem with government mandated wages is that they do not consider whether a business can afford to pay that wage.” For some businesses that may not be possible and people working just above the current minimum wage in companies already spread thin by the economy most likely won’t see raises.

 

Teacher Jevon Ford warns of employee layoffs and higher costs for consumers if the rate is hiked. Ford argues, “Historically speaking, the minimum wage was not created to be a basis for middle class living, but to make sure that minorities, women and young workers were being paid a fair wage.” Smith surmises her fear that “less-skilled workers, some of the very people supporters of mandated wages say they want to help, would be harmed the most."

 

Image courtesy of BlackChip Solutions

 
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Comments
Posted by: Melissa Kennedy
Wow! This is really a great discussion. Congress still hasn't made a decision about what to do with the minimum wage, but thanks Heather for giving us some things to think about.
Posted by: Roy J
i believe the adage that a rising tide raises all boats, the extra $ earned by these low income wage earners will be quickly put back into the economy and will benefit the economy, hence creating, not eliminating jobs, not to mention that the lower paid workers loyalty and productivity will increase, as per studies already done on this subject
Posted by: rohan g
I think that unless we're all willing to adjust our standard of living and tighten our belts, which I know realistically will never happen. We will all benefit yet be hurt at the same time be the proposed increase in wages. The wealthy will always be able to pad and insulate themselves somehow and won't be affected. The working class will see a rise in their cost of living.
Posted by: Georgina G
I really believe that raising the minimum wage is just going to hurt the economy! Once that is rasied everything else goes up so we are all going into a circle and not getting anywhere. They need to keep cutting prices on gas! and cut their own wages to really make an impact on our economy. Our president shouldnt take all this "vacations" and deal with what this country really needs a good leader!
Posted by: B W
I think that the increase would benifit alot of people, me included. It would also be beneficial if they could lower the cost of living and create alot more jobs for people without requiring so much experience, offer more on the job training. All of these cahnges would make everything run smoother and more efficiant if you ask me.
Posted by: Heather Fairchild
I can't afford my bills each month but I still think raising the minimum wage is not the correct course. It doesn't have anything to do with who the president is, it's about how the economy works. This will put more people on public assistance instead of helping them out of it.
Posted by: Shineka T
I believe that the increase would help a whole lot. Think about it. It will help get people off of government programs. The cost of everything is going up. Just about every week anyway. Also I'm so sick of everyone talking about Obama did this and Obama did that. A lot of things were screwed up before Obama even got in the white house. Nobody said anything about that. Give the man a break. Half of these jobs need to pay their employees more money anyway. A lot of people can barely afford to pay their bills every month. The ones that can are this main ones saying this is not good. We wonder why. They don't have anything to worry about. They got it like that. Poor people better wake up and start looking out for each other. Nobody else will.   
Posted by: Lisa S
$9.00 an hour is nothing. It doesn't matter. No one can live in this country on that. I'm unemploymed.Need to find something paying AT LEAST $15.00 an hr. just to pay bills and I don't have med ins.
Posted by: Fox G
IT NEEDS TO BE RAISED SOONER!
Posted by: Heather Fairchild
I still think finding a way to lower gas and food prices will help more people quicker than just raising the minimum wage.
Posted by: Christene M
Raising the minimum wage will be great for the employee, but will hurt small business in a grand way. There will be layoffs, more part time jobs instead of full time, and more work for the existing employees because there will be less hiring and still the same amount of work to be done. This will probably build animosity, less loyalty and employees will probably be less satisfied with their jobs, but have no where to go to find anything different. This definitely hurts the senior age group too, as many can only get jobs in retail where they can get hired when they cannot find jobs other places due to their age, experience and seniority. the less people working, the less taxes will be paid into the government.  This plan makes no sense at all.
Posted by: Laura W
Here's something else to think about, too: Who among our youth will want to further their education and shoot for their dreams, something better, for themselves and their families, if those with no education and no dreams are going to make almost as much as them? Where will new industry, trends, and faces come from then? What about those who've already paid for their education, who will feel the effects of the sequester as they watch the undereducated make almost as much as they do, and then wonder why? Raising minimum wage is "not" a good idea; there are many disastrous effects.
Posted by: Johnnie L. F
I understand from both sides. As an unemployed worker, the raise would greatly help me but the other side is that it would raise the regular employees pay even higher which the employer may not be able to pay.  I understand both sides.
Posted by: Sam B
In the consumers stand point, I believe low income earner can at least have some buying powers instead of buying cheap. It will not put a dent in business orient.
Posted by: Richard G
Yes it has been a long time, it sounds nice the raise to nine dollars,but the econmony with un employed workers, who it is going to hurt.With high food and gas prices, lack of good jobs,and our jobs are going to foreign countries like China.When OBAMA, came into the white house the price of gas was a 1.56 per gallon.And his party had both sides of the house.the health care plan you put into effect, was used in Mass. by the late Senator Kenndy, it did not work.Now you have put a curse on the American people and the economy, no other president would of done it..,
Posted by: Tim D
I fear that an increase of this magnitude will put the lesser skilled workers out of a job or prevent business from hiring them.  There will less hiring of individuals with disabilities and put even more pressure on workers to do even more with less hours worked.  
Posted by: Peggy O
if min wages go up to $9.oo a hr  senior citizen'scould not afford to eat out!!!the cost of meals wouldgo up so high.
Posted by: Sherrie G
I think we do need an increases, but we don't want to lay people off at the same time. Maybe on not so high, to 8.50?
Posted by: Judy N
When you allow payroll taxes to increase to solve your problems you reduce net income. Especially for hourly workers already suffering from dramatic gasoline increases just to get to work. They are more than likely already looking for higher paying jobs.  No matter how you appreciate & know your workers they still have little or no benefits. We could easily end up public assistance programs to help hourly wage earners survive.  The lowest paid workers in America did not cause the debt crisis or the financial crisis.  The thinking seems to be if we can keep reducing their net income then we can solve the problems created by those in the highest income brackets. Retail managers have always known that the minimum wage earner is not the answer.  Being smart enough & innovative enough to increase sales and profits with quality products responsive to consumer demand & excellent service has always been the answer.
Posted by: Shannon M
I do not agree with raising the wage. My husband and I support our family of 5 plus our animal family on less than $250 a week. I just recently got a job at a small restaurant where the owner does the cooking and I am the only waitress. I see what she has to do just to keep it going by working another job. I know people want to live better and be able to afford to do more, myself included. But realistically you have got to look at the long term residual affects that it would have on all aspects of our nation. Increasing the wage will increase the cost of everything else, and we will be back to needing a higher wage again....  Think about it.
Posted by: michelle F
An increase would be helpful to lower income family but even in that prizes due to inflation goes up therefore we as a nation would still be on the bottom President Obama I commend him on effort but less be really the BIBLE let us know that GOD will be with the poor alway but the rich the BIBLE state it will be hard for a rich man to enter into kingdom of heaven just as like sticking a needle through a camel eye with that said when top dollar people decided to give themselves a raises it no problem and they are already making good money to take care of there family an other if chose but GOD will deal with it all in his time
Posted by: Caryn K
The drastic pay increase is too much too soon.  The increase is necessary, but should be gradually implemented.  Business owners need to work smarter and cut waste.  They need to ensure the workers thay have on staff are paid according to their work performance and not a rewarded with pay increases for excellent work.
Posted by: John M
The goverment needs to stay out of businesses and down size.
Posted by: Kevin J
Minimum wage should be fifteen dollars. Employers always bleat when it comes to wage increases. All workers in this the worlds wealthiest nation deserve the dignity of being paid a living wage and not to be treated like serfs enslaved to feudal barons.
Posted by: tammyf
I think it's great to increase the minimum wage,I think all the "Ron Johnsons" of the CEO world are just worried about a lesser profit for themselves.iam sure they don't worrie about trying to feed there familys at the end of the week with there pay check...odds are there trying to make sure they can keep there Bentley!! I can bet the MR Johnsons of the CEO world do not worrie about missing a meal! But worrie about missing a family vacition!
Posted by: Lawrence S
this is a one side report if i ever read one this would hurt JCP company that makes billion ,TJMaxx fortune 500 company how much do the CEO make compare to their workers un skill don"t mean you have to be poor
Posted by: R0bert P
I need more money raise it.
Posted by: Steven K
I noticed I left small business out before. Let me keep it simple: you are already receiving government help; earn your success the way everyone else did in the past. Offer or invent or improve the best product and prove you should succeed. Stop complaining when you are already being graded on a curve and have earned a scholarship.  
Posted by: Steven K
Everyone needs to calm down and truly think about this. Everyone benefits from this in the long run. "Big Businesses" are already making a lot of money and they need to stop pretending that they are in the same position as the less fortunate (us) are. They can afford to "offer competitive wages and great benefits", why not accept a higher minimum wage? The "Butterfly effect" of raising wages overall would be equivalent to a headache or minor sprain compared to a brain tumor or broken spine; one will go away or heal just fine, the other will last forever. Forget the top 1%, the top 20 got there by looking at the long-term goal and making the neccesary sacrifices to succeed; why are they so short-sighted now? The "American Dream" is an impossibility now; but that was what made us great before, wasn't it? If there is more opportunity for people to get off of unemployment or public assistance and earn a decent wage; there will be more consumer spending and investment which will create more revenue in the long-term. Just like taxes, the wealthy can (and should) pay at least the same as everyone else. With wages it's a "butterfly effect" and taxes a "trickle down effect", it enables the government to balance it's books and get us out of China and whoever else's debt. When you really look at it, our country is on welfare; we are surviving on someone else's dime and still can't get by. That's why everyone is considering it an entitlement program, right? Well, we need to stop being hipocrites; Roosevelt felt the need to help the nation survive and public assistance, unemployment, and social security were his answers. Obama, following his and others' examples, is trying to heal this country with  the long-term goals of universal healthcare and a minimum wage increase. Let's be honest, we have had several wage increases in the past and it didn't hurt us and universal healthcare is essentially social security in real-time without restrictions. I applaud Obama's plan and just wonder why it has taken so long.    
Posted by: scarlett h
owners and ceos can make a little less inorder for the backbone of companies just to be able to pay their rent.
Posted by: johann o
Support it absolutely! The component that is rarely mentioned...& Ford got it a century ago!...is that disposable income goes up, which has a positive impact on revenue...  not that we're talking real substance here...
Posted by: Louis R
OK folks, the first law of economics is the law of supply and demand and if the gov. messes around with either supply or demand you can count on two things happening; higher prices and shortages.
Posted by: Dianne C
Minimum wage needs to go up to keep up with the cost of living. I have 3 degrees and am working at a minimum wage position and still qualify for public assistance.I know every food bank in town. Maybe I could get off public assistance if my wage was a bit higher. Businesses have truly taken advantage the last few years of the unemployed because I for one couldn't say no to any prospective job regardless of pay.
Posted by: LORNA W
It's amazing that the CEOs all complaining about they have to layoff & pass the increase on to consumers. Why don't they try leaving off$7.25 hr. My CEO make $8M a year
Posted by: Keith D
In 2002, gas was $1.40 per gallon and the minimum wage was $5.50 per hour. With gas at $3.50 per gallon,a minimum wage of $9.00 is not nearly a big enough increase from $7.25!!
Posted by: Keith D
A $9.00 minimum wage in 2013 is barely enough considering gasoline is $3.50 per gallon.
Posted by: Christine S
I think the minimum wage should definitely be increased.  In North Carolina, where I live, employers want a college degree to pay a file clerk $10/hour.  The only jobs available without a degree are in retail or supermarkets at $7.25/hour.  After taxes are taken out and I pay $3.65/gal. for gas, how much am I living on??
Posted by: Jeff H
I do not make enough now at 9.70 hr I pay more in gas and food than anything else it is ridiculous and obscene .
Posted by: Cinda C
Seems the tax for the rich is being fed back to them in raising prices. The government is like a dog chasing their own tail.
Posted by: Tammy G
I think it is absolutely disgusting to expect people to survive in this, the richest country in the world, on minimum wages.  I'd like to see every member of congress and all business owners try it and see just how frustrating, demeaning and incredibly difficult it is. As for you poor business owners, you get what you pay for, so don't expext loyalty. If you pay the equivalent of peanuts, you deserve to have monkeys working for you. No sympathy here.
Posted by: Jay P
I say increase min wage to 9.oo hr. Most companies only hire part time anyway to save them money in many other ways, so whats the big cry about.!? Plus seems like every yr the cost of health ins goes up vs the knickel dime raises u get. Example; A person I know has been wkg at the big blue box retail store for six yrs and got a total of 0.48 cents in raises and brings home less than what they were when they started with the company. Really.!? I say cut back on all the uncalled for outrages amount of bonsus from the top. It's rediculas to work the little people that make the big people and expect them to do the jobs of more than one person and get nothing for it due to nickel dime raises vs cost of lvg, ins increase,etc.. And expect us to be happy with that.! For most hard wkg people wage increase doesn't by no means keep up with the cost of lvg. So to me ; 9.00 hr needs to happen. I guess u can say damn if u do. damn if u don't.
Posted by: LaTasha B
It would be very awesome to raise the wage. So many of us are struggling while others make too much per year and so the wage increase would help those in need like me & I have a Master's degree!
Posted by: EileenH
i think the minimum wage should be raised it is a terrible thing for someone to have to try to livre on such a small salary,i know about this i worked all my life and as a senior i still have to work,maybe this is my fault for not planning better but i still think families should get a better wage for as hard as they work why should these companies take it all maybe they will someday be in the same shape as others less fortunate.
Posted by: Teresa J
I agree that the minimum wage should be increased.  I was working in Virginia making $14.00 per hour and moved to Tennessee because of my husband's employment.  I can't even find a job making $10.00 now.  It is discouraging.  Our standard of living has gone downhill very quickly.
Posted by: Rosemary V
Today the metro card prices went up $2.50 per ride, $30.00 for 7 day unlimited ride and $112.00 for 30 day unlimited ride. I work in New York City for many years and my salary does not go up. It is very hard to make a living and every thing goes up. I was born in New York and I have a New York ID. I wish there is a way to lower the prices on food, school tuition,housing, and so on.
Posted by: Marcus S
Damn right it should go up. You CEO's make millions in salary but u cant pay the people that make you the freakin money damn $9.00. That  aint right.
Posted by: Tekeste D
I support the the minimum wage increase in unequivocal voice. People in the lower statrata should be live a descent life. Yes, small business owners will face problems. But life comes first. And immigration should control illegal immigrants. The cumulative effect may affect capitalists; but, life comes first. And those who get better pay will also buy and this does not make any difference for our governments.
Posted by: Tracy T
I think it's great! I worked for a well known restaurant for 5 years and got 1 raise the 5 yrs worked there.I was a hard worker always there never stole,and what I got from them was fired for no suggestive sells, which I always did, they would'nt believe me, but why do they believe a shopper who maybe of never came in there. This is a terrible thing that happened to me
Posted by: Peggy C
Raising the minimum wage in this economy will put 1000's of small businesses out of business. Sales are already in a slump and profit margins increasingly get smaller making it necessary to sell more with less staff, and less attention to quality. I have been job hunting since the first of Dec, and as much as I'd like to make more money per hour, I also know I can expect to work fewer hours and ultimately not bring any more home at the end of the week if the increase goes into effect. Meanwhile prices at the grocery store continue to rise and making ends meet becomes even more difficult.Raising minimum wage is not the answer to ending poverty or reducing the deficit by the additional income taxes supposedly generated. It will on the other hand raise unemployment and put more people in the Welfare line desperately looking for assistance to feed their families. Obama surely flunked economics.
Posted by: Darlene W
I think they should cut their profits instead of making employees and customers suffer. They say they can't afford to pay workers a fair wage for fair day's work but what they really means is they don't want there profit margin to suffer...I work over 40 hours a week and get minium wage and still can't make ends meet and I work hard and fast.
Posted by: Nancy k
INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE ASAP
Posted by: Sharri T
Good idea. More than a few businesses are recording billions in profit, no reason not to. Minimum was $3.35/hr when I started working! But then again, a loaf of bread was 35 cents...
Posted by: TERRY P
An increase in minimum wage is great. But what good is it when we have to wait another 2yrs. Economy still rising & people still losing jobs. If u stop paying these athletes & actors millions of $$ & spread that $$ out, maybe we all can get through this dilemma.
Posted by: Cindi W
I think it's time for a raise in the minimum wage.  Employers rarely give any raises to these employees.  It's time they were forced to pay them more.  They are only crying about it because it means they can't buy a bigger house this year.
Posted by: cheryl u
when is it supposed to go through?  it's the right thing to do.  
Posted by: Rose E
Like a dog chasing its tail...round and round so that the value of the dollar continues to decrease even while a person is making more... prices rise... jobs become ever more scarce...spending more for less... and now what has actually changed?!
Posted by: Art C.
I think 10.00 an hour would be a much more fair rate. It's a sad  fact that the less you make the harder you work. It's been far too long small and large company's alike have been getting away with this substandard rate of pay. Often with a "take it or leave it" attitude. I had to chuckle when the article mentioned the relationship between employee and business owner and how sad it would be to see this loyal employee go. yes, I can see that the sweat shop company owners in China and Mexico would also be sad if suddenly they were forced to pay there peasant labor a decent rate of pay...   
Posted by: Danny B
Many company's are only working their hourly employees 30 hours or less to keep away from the Obama care penalty's...this new law is going to do nothing but hurt the economy even more. This government does not have a clue.
Posted by: nancy jo w
I feel minimum wage would be a good thing but only certain states apply.I live in Dover Delaware which the wage is staying the same
Posted by: David P
Yeah, there will be some repercussions, but it should be done. Really, do you  want to work for less than 9. Hell I won't work for less than 15 and thats the low side. Like desperate.
Posted by: Burly D
It is great that the minimum wage is going up!!! It is true there will be a lot of reactions. Businesses will have to adjust and they will. It is not the end of the world! It is about time this change has come. The cost of living is always going up and businesses always profit, some do some don't. Everything will be alright, times are changing.
Posted by: Michael C
Having respect and appreciation for your employees by paying them a decent wage pays rich didvidends. If you need to adjust your Profit & Loss to compensate paying a decent wage by trimming the compensation at the top levels, you will be able to hire well adjusted individuals with a good work ethic to represent your interests to your customer or clients. We have become a top heavy society thinking we on the top should be entitled to earn the lions share of the Profit within the business module. The recommended increase of minimum wage to $9.00 an hour is way behind the cost of living in today's economy whether it be for students or full time unskilled labor. We have bought into the myth that labor is the problem. It is in reality the foundation of a good bussiness.
Posted by: Scott D
Good for Obama. People need it.
Posted by: Charles I
Pure BS, owners are cheap, they have profits but do ot want to share them They get the workforce they deserve, not the one that will be most productive. There should be a cap on what management receives, but of course that will never happen.
Posted by: Elvira a
i think it is good that minium wage is going to be raised because people cant live on the minium wage that is now.
Posted by: Rhonda H
I agree, it can't go up as much as stated. If the economy was booming it might be different, but we have a mad man in the W.H.
Posted by: Ron D.
I think raising the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour is a good idea. It would make some people think twice about doing something against the law to provide for their families.
Posted by: Gina M
What about equal raises for the people already working!Especially those who do a great service for our communities, such as trash men! can you imagine having to go to the dump every week to dump your own trash.
Posted by: william m
I think there should  be 2 different levels of minumum wage.One for young children and students living with mom and dad, and one for the person out on their own. It would take some thought but it could work.
Posted by: Brittney M.
If a business cannot afford to pay it's employees a livable wage, that business should not exist.  Money is there, people are working and they deserve to be paid decently for making the business go round.  It's always the one's doing the most work, who receive the least pay.  If it weren't for those underpaid workers, business couldn't occur.  The service industry needs a major revamping.  It's a huge industry and there is simply no excuse for these hard workers to essentially be taken advantage of.
Posted by: Eric S
This is simple logic, Raise Minimum wage will only make more lower income people. prices will go up. people making just above minumum will not get raises, now they are back to minimum wage and less products will be purchased. Where is the up?
Posted by: David S
I agree completely.  My wife owns a small gift shop and has 3 part-time employees.  she has been in business for 9 years and, so far, the employees are the only ones to profit from the business.  If the minimum wage increases, at least one of those employees will lose her job.  These are not the "breadwinners" in the family.  They are spouses/retirees making some extra money.  We live in a small town and the gift shop is the main business in town.  If the government forces us to close, the town will suffer along with the employees.
Posted by: Gary W J
I also believe any increase this large in the minimum wage would adversely affect the businesses, especially the small ones. If the employees are already making above the minimum wage, there would be no affect. I, as a consumer, would not like to see prices raised or services affected in any way. There could be a gradual increase, i.e. .50 or .75 increase which would probably cause a small ripple, but not one large leap which would not be good for mankind.
Posted by: Fred T
If the minimum wage is to stay the same, then things are going to have to get cheaper so a person can live on it.
Posted by: Dawn D
I think a increase in minimum wage is long over due,people can not survive on $7.25 an hour stop keeping people just above the poverty level.minimum wage should be at least $12.00 to be able to pay bills and buy food and clothing.I am tired of comany's keeping people down and not being able to move up.Its time to start caring about people and less about money.you would not be able to make money without your employees
Posted by: Ricky W
I think, if business can,t pay descent wage they should not be in business . It should go up to $12 an hour, they think they're the only ones that need descent money. For the longest  time busniness has made all the money while their workers , can't pay their rent. Good for Obama
Posted by: John M
Stop whining and start paying a living wage. If everybody has to pay the same minimum wage then no one has an advantage and the cost gets past to the consumer. I live on a fixed budget and would be willing to pay a little more so someone else has a better standard of living. When are we going to stop being a country of ME ME ME.
Posted by: alana z
I am all for the minimum wage increase!  No one hires for more than 20 hrs a week if u r lucky enough to find a job and cuts to unemployment now ever try to live on nothing?  7.25 an hr at 20 hrs a week doesn't even come close to supporting 1 person! Lets get w the times most companies can afford the $ to pay they just don't want the $ coming out of their pockets when without us the employees they would not be in business at all it's called give and take people.
Posted by: Nancy A
you bet it should be raised!every thing goes up BUT our wage!
Posted by: Fred R
Raising the minimum wage puts an equal burden on all businesses. I don't see the unfair advantage. Sure part of the burden will be on us all, as in higher prices. Right now one can work 40 hours a week at minimum wage and still receive food stamps, as they are considered below the poverty level. Guess who pays for that?
Posted by: Patti B
i think in the long run, it would end up hurting the economy because the increase in wages would probably be passed on to the consumer because the businesses would have to increase their prices which will have quite an impact on the economy.
Posted by: Matthew E
They haven't raised it about years, at least 5 , plus the cost of living is a lot different 5 years ago, but I think it's overdue, but I think now they need the bigwigs to pay for it. The people making 500K a year can afford to pick up the slack
Posted by: Paul l
Good idea,get caught up with the past inflation.dont forget. About senior citizens collecting ss.some middle class people can't even afford a new car any more something has to give.
Posted by: Starla L
When wages increase, prices go up.  I realized this when I was a youngster.  Back then (65 years ago) Unions were continually striking for more money.  As the wages rose, I saw the price rise.  Companies are going to charge more so nothing was accomplished. Minimum wage increases will harm those of us on fixed incomes and cause damage to families when the breadwinner does not have a job.  Why should Americans want prices to go higher?  I remember when our grocery bill was $5 a week.  Canned goods were ten cents and a loaf of bread cost ten cents and other prices were inexpensive, too.  I made it just fine on $180 a month.  I could not live a good lifestyle on that salary now.
Posted by: Jeffrey m
Great article that's shows just how out of touch the President really is. It is obvious that either he does not understand economics or just wants " Utlimate Power". Either way it does not work.
Posted by: David J
Fix food prices, gasoline and Property taxes and you won't need to raise the min. wage. This will only lead to Inflation!!!
Posted by: Pamela H
This happened in biblical times.  The king was going to supply everything the people needed.  They just went about their business and collected their tokens at the end of the week.  Every body got what they needed.  Well, the kingdom died, went under and the people did as well.  Obama...get in touch with the people of this country.  We can't rely of man.  You aren't fixing our problems but making them worst.  I invite you to my home, my area and will introduce you to some that's living your solutions.  America, please, remember FROG...Forever Rely On God not some man that puts his pants on the same way you do.  Oh, and something else.  It is said that it will take a wheelborrow of money to purchase a loaf of bread when?  How much will this bread cost by 2015?
Posted by: perry  l
people are always saying that businesses can't afford an increase to min. wages.If the amt. of incoming work assignments increase the bosses no doubt will want workers' output to increase, how about 'businesses won't be able to stand that increase then'?
Posted by: Roy S
Perhaps greedy companies who have no problem paying their CEO, board of directors and other management staff millions of dollars yearly, could reduce this excessive, undeserved and bloated compensation and use those funds to pay the increase in minimum wage.  Clearly we have a system that pays people at the bottom very little and those at the top far too much.
Posted by: Kenneth B
I love this increase from 7.25 to 9.00. Long over due. Small business, all they do is cry. This is good for the people that work at Dunkin Donuts, those cheap Indians and Aribics owners. I guess you will have to sell more product to make up the cost or this will really cut down on the profits.
Posted by: anton b
wages for the bottom 80% are too low way too low , 50 % of the working class cannot afford a new car,The movers and shakers at the top are too greedy. The ceo`s of the fortume 500 use to earn 10x the average worker today they take 400x the average worker. I earned $9.40 a hr in 1976 to day I earn $9.15. In 1977 I bought a new car for $4600 today the average car is $30000. and it aint the union guys pushing it up. The worst is the colleges and what they charge. There cost increases have doubled that of health care cost and quadrupled the price of OIL. If the capitalist want to save capitalism they will put there greed aside and employ and double wages to we can have a  vibrant consumer based economy. They should raise wages and tax anything over 12x the average earning by 95%. Then capitalism can survive.
Posted by: sam s
i think the minimum wage SHOULD be increased-yes theres a risk of all these things that employers say will happen, but iff wages arent increased, then the cycle of working poor will continue to remain and be a further drain on the economy
Posted by: Rita R
The minimum wage has not been increased for many years and I think it is about time that it is. Many seniors are working part-time jobs and full-time jobs. The $7.25 an hour is not enough to pay for groceries,rent,etc. and have anything left to live on unless they are getting retirement benefits.
Posted by: Timothy Mi
It's said how it will raise inflation but that's the whole problem is wages have not kept up with inflation for years.
Posted by: Frank B
What's the big deal? Raise the minimum wage. Then everybody will be making more money. The local grocer can afford to pay it by simply raising his prices a little. Then the little Italian restaurant down the street will need to raise their prices because they now have to pay more for their highs chool labor force and for their supplies they buy from the local grocer. Now, Joe the Plumber has to pay more to go out to eat & buy groceries, so he raises his prices a little. By this time next year, we will be right where we started, with minimum wage not being enough to buy the things you need - again.Minimum wage was never designed as a "living wage". It was for high school kids just starting out. They make less because they are inexperienced and not nearly as productive as a more experienced worker. The majority of minimum wage workers still live at home with mom and dad. They need enough to pay for their cell phones and cars. Most of them don't support families. My 1st job was sweeping a barber shop everyday after school and on Saturdays. I worked about 10 hours a week and made $2 - not per hour, but per week. The barber was teaching me important skills; how to sweep & mop properly, how to manage my time, the importance of showing up when scheduled, treating customers with respect, etc. These were lessons that served me well throughout the rest of my work life. AND I didn't make minimum wage very long.
Posted by: william D t
out off work 2 years starving too death anyway
Posted by: ron h
my son works his a@@ off for minimum wage, and it's not worth it, cuz  most places do not employ a person for 40 hrs a week, so raise it, and more people will want the fast food jobs, and more.  you cant tell me BURGER KING, LJS, MICKEY D'S, ARBYS,WENDY'S ECT,ECT CANT AFFORD THE PAY RAISE. I WORKED,AND RETIRED IN MY UNION.  NO SPECIAL TRAINING ,OR TRADE, AND WAS MAKING $21.00 AN HOUR,AND AM RETIRED AT 53 YRS OLD. MY SON WORKS HARDER THAN I DID , AND MAKES $9.00 HR.  RAISE IT !!!!!!
Posted by: Shirley H
I can see good and bad coming from this. Raising the minimum wage would be a good thing. But to raise it that much at one time could be very detrimental to many smaller businesses.
Posted by: patricia v
RAISE  the pay -- we need a change  life costs keeps going up -- what do people expect and companys ?-- we need  to make more money to pay our bills -- Taxes keep going up to and Gas at the pump to go to work !!!!-- WE  need a change to make more --they keep raising every thing -- how can people survive !!
Posted by: Justin B
Theresa B and Grace U both have very good points, small business can't afford to keep as many employees so there would be unenployment in that area, but multi-million dollar corporations certainly have the profit margins to support a minimum wage increase, That is, of course, if the upper management can tolerate their bank accounts grow slightly slower.
Posted by: Robert W
It's about time min wage went up because the cost of living has gone up rapidly. And someone else should suffer the lost Besides employees
Posted by: patricia v
I PRAY and hope they do increase the wages -- cost of living keeps going up -- i am tired of people or companys  argueing oh thats to much increase . what do they expect us american people keep working for nothing while life costs keeps going up??? STOP this nonesince !!!!!
Posted by: Kimberly W
I feel like it should be sooner the cost of living is way too high I'm a single mother and its hard to do things on your own and make time for your children when u have to work 3 jobs just to pay rent a car payment and buy diapers!
Posted by: Allen N
Why not cut wages to congress let them show by example or better yet lets get the cons out of congress and put the pros in then we will have progress
Posted by: Daniel c
I'm sure it's been very carefully thought out. the president and his staff are not ignorant.
Posted by: Tom A
Let's all go back and watch It's a Wonderful Life and listen to Jimmy Stewart when he says treating people fairly makes them better citizens and I would add: creates more wealth for everyone. Does no one remember that raising morale through good wages and benefits makes better more productive employees? Just look at Costco vs Walmart.
Posted by: conrad t
we can not afford  this at this time
Posted by: Tom A
I agree with Teresa B. There are consequences to absolutely every decision. To keep it at the same level is a decision that hurts hard working people and is shameful and unjustifiable. Restaurants pay servers $2.14 an hr and pay no benefits (in Va). A living wage needs to be guaranteed because of the greedy short sighted ones who don't even stop to think about how higher wages allow their own workers to afford to buy the products they offer (think Henry Ford)
Posted by: Paula T
Even a$9 minimum wage cannot be considered a living wage. We are committed to gov't social agencies to supplement the underemployed . Therefore, the argument that gov't should not have the right to raise minimum wage is a moot point. It is long overdue.  
Posted by: Kurt M
I totally agree with this eventual outcome.  The increased minimum wage is just another political move by this administration.  He is anti business, and not for the middle class at all.  He simply governed by unions.
Posted by: FRANK S
A minimum wage of 9 dollars per hour for retail employees is still not a living wage,even for college students.What profit margin is expected by small business?It is the large retailers who are crying foul.The same retailers that have reaped enormous profits from high prices in America AND CHEAP LABOR FROM FOREIGN IMPORTS.Do we want the same working conditions and pay scale that exist in Bangladesh. The answer is YES,IF if you ask any profit at the expense  of labor driven CEO.Patriotism in the boardrooms of American Corporations does not exist.What a shame for America.
Posted by: Ruby w
I do not  thing they need to raise there price. An I don't thing it going to  hurt to pay more. I know they got to figure there expanse also but they also got to look at our expanse also. An I  really believe that greed has gotten out of control. We also got to live with what we make.
Posted by: Terentius v
i think its a great idea it will help in certain area. but it may also hurt too but the cost of living is high also like the food,gas meds,health, and etc
Posted by: mark d
I think that wages should go up because of the cost of living
Posted by: James S
7.25  is  like the flintstones.   it is 2013   and everything  went up,  gas,   food,  taxes,  cost of living in general.   the retail  stores  in general  are  pigs.   it is about  time  , it should be 10.00  hr  across the board.
Posted by: Richard k
thats just a big crock.your article is political and will never read again
Posted by: Marquita M
I think that it's a good idea that its going up because you have single mothers that work at a small business and what they make might not be enough so if it do go up it will help a lot of people out that can't get a decent job that have to work at a small business so I think it's a good idea
Posted by: Cynthia S
All I hear is about Retail & Small Business OWNERS comments.  What about the employee who is trying to live & support a family on $7.25??How about the CEO's live on $7.25!!!  We all want the economy to excel but it is always at the cost of the employees.  We must be concerned about the INVESTORS who only want to build business to benefit their profit.  No matter if have to lay-off people to do it.  Don't we all want to have enough money to live comfortably!!!!
Posted by: RaymondH
It's about time that minimum wage workers see some compensation. Companies can cover the increase by monitoring their salaries at the mid and upper management level, also perks to upper management. Minimum wage workers are the backbone of any company pay them.
Posted by: jim p
I agree.  I think this is a reallystupid and ridiculous actionon the presidents part just totry to raise his appeal.  I amin the job seeking market, now, and I wish I was alreadyretired!  I hope the minimumwage increase is blocked.  Thank you, sincerely
Posted by: Anthony B
Every bar owner said the same thing about smoking and the affect it would have on their business, if their customers could not smoke inside, did not change their bottom line.  If you are a big business, let the EXECUTIVES at the top make a bit less. If you are a small business and you can't afford to pay a decent wage (minimum), and you are not probably paying for these employees to have health care, close your doors. People who own a business have a right to make more because they assume more of the liabilities. But how much more, and at who's expense???  All these EXPERTS are making a whole lot more than minimum wage.
Posted by: Warren W
Only an idiot supports the minimum wage.  The real name for minimum wage is minimum employment.
Posted by: Gabriel C
Obama seems to want to wreck this country from the inside out. The Russians once said they would take over America without firing a shot. Their methodology seems the same as Obama is trying to do. He will kill the Health Care market by shooting health care prices sky high costing the people ridiculous amounts of money to pay for it; legalizing millions of aliens not citizens by allowing them health care free, and issuing social security benefits to those aliens. That will be the straw that broke the Camel's back. He will destroy America, like the Russians wanted to do from the inside out. We need to impeach this maniac while we still can.
Posted by: michealle f
I think that they should raise minimum wage just do the middle class people me included can keep up with the cost of living. Right now the means do not meet the end for most of us we will still be in provdity so tell the president  to pass the bill
Posted by: Tracy M
This is an interesting perspective. I am one of the many that has recently got a job for 7.50 an hour and am glad to get it, although this wage won't do much of anything for a household.
Posted by: Christy G
Theoretically it sounds good. But realistically, it's not possible. We are the ones who are going to suffer for it. Of course, the president doesn't exactly live in reality anyway now does he? He doesn't care about us peons that actually live from paycheck to paycheck.
Posted by: Jerald j
The problem with this President is he is black and he doesn't know it.  He is dealing with a bunch of KKK people who hate blacks.  Did he really think they would care a lick about what he thinks?  What he needs to do is hit the Republicans where it hurts the most.  Stop the wars now.  Stop borrowing money to pay for them.  Close all military bases in Republican states.  If necessary move them to Democratic states.  Impose an import tax on all goods.  Make airlines pay for TSA and Controllers.  Make the Importers pay for homeland security.  Make the food and drug industry pay for the FDA.  Stop all this welfare to private corporations.  That will make the Republicans bleed.  They haven't a clue how to manage a state or a nation, without welfare or borrowing.
Posted by: Bob F
Typical action of Pres to handcuff small business to further slow economic growth
Posted by: David B
I believe it would be a good act to increase the minimun wage.  
Posted by: charles p
minimum wage should be eleven dollars an hour, not nine. 7.75 is a joke, anyone against a wage hike is just part of the problem, how about cutting some of these fat cat politicians salaries, that would offset the cost a little, anyone willing to work should at least have a fighting chance.
Posted by: Mark T
We need to support our labor unions! Fairness for our workforce and employers.
Posted by: Heather Fairchild
I think focusing on lowering the cost of food, gas and housing would help everyone...
Posted by: Philip K
President is out of touch with businees needs! Too bad .. This will hurt him even more for the rest of his term.. Dumb idea. we have huge unemployed folks already. China 's Product sales will only go higher..
Posted by: FRANK G
The minimum wage should not be raised on evey company or business. It should be raised according to the profits that a company makes. Hence larger companies making more profit off the backs of the people working for them should get paid more
Posted by: Teresa B
I'm so tired of reading that "business can't afford" to pay. Why is it that "business" is more important than humans as a basis for determining the type of society we live in?
Posted by: GRACE U
I would tend to agree that the increase in wage will surely decrease the number of people employed.  Small businesses cannot afford to pay these type of increases to their minimum wage employees.
Posted by: Char S
raise the minimum wagebut also raise the SSDI income please!
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