Tuesday, August 26, 2014
City employees could see a pay increase under a proposal from Jackson Ward 6 Councilman Tyrone Hendrix. Hendrix, who took the seat Mayor Tony Yarber formerly held, has been working on the plan for about a month. The plan has backing from five other members of the city council.
The minimum wage for city employees mirrors the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Under Hendrix's proposal, the wage would rise to $8.75 per hour within a year. The next year, it would go up to $9.70 and $10.65 after three years.
Raising the minimum wage for city employees could be a boon to the local economy despite common myths that increasing the wage would cost jobs. Information from the U.S. Department of Labor shows no discernible effect on employment and nearly 600 economists have voiced support of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per year by 2016.
Additionally, the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times since 1938 and, in the meantime, real gross-domestic product per capita has steadily increased for 75 years, even when the minimum wage has been raised.
And a raise in minimum wage isn't only good for teenagers earning pocket money. The typical minimum wage worker isn't in high school—studies show 88 percent of people who would benefit from a federal minimum wage increase are age 20 or older.
Hendrix's ordinance was placed in the Rules Committee for consideration.
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