Thursday, July 23, 2009

MINIMUM WAGE To INCREASE TO $7.25 PER HOUR -- Takes Effect Friday, July 24


Increase takes effect Friday, July 24

WASHINGTON--U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz (TX-27) and other influential representatives announced that the national minimum wage will increase on Friday by 70 cents--from $6.55 per hour to $7.25 per hour--the final of three increases to take effect under legislation enacted by Democrats in the U.S. Congress.

“With the high cost of living today, we must be able to provide a decent minimum wage to the millions of Americans who work hard for their wages,” Ortiz said. “This 70-cent increase per hour will help those Americans who work to support their families.

American workers are hurting right now, and this increase will make a big difference in paying the electricity bill, buying groceries and filling up the car with gas,” Another Press release stated “About 4.5 million Americans will see this raise on their paychecks, resulting in $1.6 billion annually in increased wages.”

Thirty one states are affected by today’s increase. In Texas, the minimum wage will increase for 985,000 workers.

“Even before the current economic crisis, our economy created a lot of wealth for the wealthy and not much was left for everyone else,” a prominent local Democratsaid. “As we rescue the economy, we must rebuild it stronger than before. This minimum wage increase helps to do that.”

The raise is crucial to stimulating the local economy through increased consumer spending. The Economic Policy Institute estimated that the increased purchasing power resulting from raising the minimum wage will boost consumer spending by more than $5.5 billion over the next year, and a recent study by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago found that every dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to an $800 increase in spending per quarter by families with minimum wage workers.

El Defenzor believes that as local businesses struggle to stay competitive during the recession, "This increase provides a boost not only in consumer spending but in the overall psychology of the working masses and gives citizens to circulate their money and be able to buy more products and items from their local businesses.

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