November 11, 1998 |
The big progressive issue of campaign 2000 was previewed in Washington state Nov. 3, but no one in the rest of the country noticed. By a 68 percent majority, voters approved an initiative that hikes the minimum wage to $6.50 an hour by 2000, and then - for the first time ever - indexes it to rise each year with the cost of living. If ever there was an idea whose time has come, this is it. Inflation has eroded the minimum wage to the point where even 1996's two-step federal "increase" to $5.15 has left that wage with less purchasing power than it had in the late 1970s.
September 30, 1989 |
On Sept. 14, the Senate passed, 76-8, an increase in the national minimum wage to $4.25. It is now being considered by the House and is expected to be reviewed in the near future. Even though this would be the first raise in 12 years, the legislation doesn't go far enough. Perhaps that is because those most affected are women. While women constitute only 46 percent of the work force, they are nearly two-thirds of this country's 6.5 million minimum wage workers. And women will continue to hold these low-paying jobs.
July 19, 2006 |
After nine years of waiting for Congress to act, Pennsylvania has become the 22d state to raise the minimum wage above the federal level ("Rendell signs bill to increase minimum wage," July 9). While a step in the right direction, it's not enough. American families that include minimum-wage workers need protection against steady loss of even this modest income. The last increase of the federal minimum wage was in 1997. Since then, Americans have seen those gains eroded by inflation.
February 2, 2012
With transit fares, bridge and road tolls, food, gasoline, and other necessities getting more expensive, it's time for New Jersey's 40,000 minimum-wage workers to receive a long-overdue break. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D., Essex) is pushing to increase the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. Workers making about $15,080 a year pay the same prices for goods as the average wage earner in New Jersey, who makes $56,385. But they're doing it in one of the most expensive to live in states.
January 9, 2012 |
Many states have announced an increase in their minimum wage because their legislation requires an adjustment to the Consumer Price Index inflation measure. State wages must be above the national minimum of $7.25 per hour. Some political jurisdictions take it further. San Francisco has a minimum of more than $10 per hour, and the state of Washington is above $9 on average. Supporters hail this as a victory for "fairness" and a benefit for poor people. This, it is alleged, will provide more income to support spending.
September 1, 1997 |
Nearly 10 million people will receive fatter paychecks beginning today, when the federal minimum wage jumps by 40 cents an hour to $5.15, completing the 90-cent increase approved by Congress last year. With low unemployment, steady job growth, and strong demand for workers slowly pushing wages higher, the increase in the minimum wage isn't eliciting the anguish among business people and political conservatives that it once did. In fact, many economists say that if the wage must increase, there's no better time than now. "If you're going to legislate an increase and you want to have the least impact on the economy as possible, the best time to do it is when wages are generally higher than the legislated minimum anyway," said Stephen Mangum, associate dean of Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business.
June 26, 1996 |
After weeks of false starts and partisan bickering, Senate leaders of both parties yesterday sealed a deal to vote on a minimum-wage increase and some new tax breaks for small businesses. The agreement makes it likely that an increase in the minimum wage - from $4.25 an hour to $5.15 an hour - will become law. The deal also calls for a separate vote to make several labor-law changes that have been resisted by the AFL-CIO and other union groups. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R., Miss.
November 30, 1988 |
The House yesterday approved and sent to Gov. Casey compromise legislation that would raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania by 35 cents an hour beginning Feb. 1. The boost would make the minimum wage $3.70 an hour, up from the $3.35 minimum established by the federal government on Dec. 30, 1980. At least 250,000 Pennsylvania minimum-wage workers - and perhaps as many as another 250,000 now earning between $3.35 and $3.70 an hour - would be affected by the legislation, which the governor is expected to sign.
January 10, 2007 |
Dmitri Iglitzin is a labor-law attorney in Seattle and a lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law Steven Hill is political reform director at the New America Foundation As President Bush and Congress prepare to debate an increase in the federal minimum wage, they could learn much from the economic wisdom of one of America's most successful business leaders - Henry Ford. Ford was, among other things, a famously domineering employer, but he was also an economic pioneer.
March 3, 1995 |
On the eastern edge of Center City, in a building marked only by a peeling wooden sign, the staff of the Employment Project spends restless hours searching out shelter and work for its tough-luck clientele. The small nonprofit agency, run by people who were at one time homeless, found jobs for 23 men and women as clerks, security guards and fast-food employees last month. In six years, the Arch Street agency has placed 2,800. So when veteran counselor Ronald Casanova learned of President Clinton's call last month to raise the minimum wage from $4.25 an hour to $5.15 in two 45-cent steps, he had a reaction.