President Barack Obama has signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all federal workers, almost a three dollar hike from the current $7.25 an hour. He is also pushing Congress to do the same for all workers across the nation. Those that are pro-wage increase point to the rise in inflation during the last seven years since the last minimum wage increase.
Logan Ball, a Lansing Community College student who works at Dunham’s Discount Sports in Frandor, is concerned about raising minimum wage.
“I believe it will hurt the country,” said Ball. “It will jump everything 25 percent at a minimum.”
Local stores and businesses may also be affected by this issue. Grocery stores like Meijer depend on part-time workers to fill their shifts but if the minimum wage is increased, how will the store realign hours to remain cost-effective?
Joshua Stinson, a part-time employee at the Lake Lansing Meijer, fears losing hours because of the increase in minimum wage.
“You’re going to see many people get their hours cut,” said Stinson. “I can’t work full-time with my classes, but I can’t afford to pay off my student loans.”
Although this is a national issue, this particular issue actually affects very few on a national scale. According to a 2012 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 3.6 million workers earn at or below minimum wage or about 2.5 percent of workers in the United States. Only 1.1 percent of those workers are over the age of 25.
The main argument by President Barack Obama for a raise in minimum wage is that it will help full-time workers who are the primary wage earners in their households.
Those who oppose raising the minimum wage typically argue that doing so will help very families that are in poverty. According to a 2010 study in the Southern Economic Journal, of the workers that earn less than $9.50 per hour, only 37 percent are the majority earners in their household.
As of now, the American voters favor a raise in the minimum wage by a considerable wage. According to a Quinnipiac University poll last month, 71 percent of American voters favor an increase in the federal minimum wage. This included over half of Republicans who were polled.