Dec. 28, 2012
Although it's far short of the $15 hourly pay many employees in New York and other cities have been protesting for lately, the minimum wage will rise in 2013 in 10 states. Most estimates have the increase between 10 and 35 cents per hour, or an extra $200 to $500 per year.
According to the Huffington Post, the cost-of-living inflation adjustment will benefit about 1 million workers in Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Washington will have the highest minimum wage in the country, at $9.19/hour. On the federal level, minimum wage has remained at $7.25 since 2009. There are 31 states that don't mandate a cost-of-living adjustment.
Although hourly pay is set to rise in some areas, the quick-service industry is one that won't experience an increase until the minimum wage is raised through legislation. A bill was introduced by Democratics in the House and Senate last year that would have raised the federal rate to $9.80 per hour and indexed the wage to inflation, however the bills failed and are unlikely to pass if reintroduced to a Republican-controlled House, according to the story.
In recent years, the National Restaurant Association has lobbied against minimum wage increases saying it "fosters an anti-business climate" and adds pressure to business owners.
The Huffington Post previously reported that these lobbying efforts have kept the minimum wage for servers and other tipped employees at $2.13 per hour (before tips) for the past two decades.
Low pay rates have become a contentious issue in recent weeks, as quick-service employees in New York City, Chicago and other cities have walked off the job in protest of "unlivable wages."
In NYC, the workers' campaign is called "Fast Food Forward." According to a press release, the goal is to "put money back in the pockets of the 50,000 men and women who work hard in the city's fast food industry — but still can't afford basic necessities like food, clothing and rent — to help get New York's economy moving again."
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