President Barack Obama asked businesses to "give Americans a raise." Now it falls on the employers to answer questions from your staff regarding the subject. Here are a few questions your employees may ask as well as what Snagajob job seekers said they would do with a few extra dollars in their pocket.
1. What is the current minimum wage rate and what do people want to increase it to? The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The push is to raise this rate to $10 or higher.
2. How many people would an increase in minimum wage impact? According to 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.7 percent of hourly-paid workers are at or below the federal minimum wage rate, this is over 3.6 million Americans.
3. Who is now getting a minimum raise increase? The president is issuing an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10. This means starting in 2015, federal contracts will give preference to companies who pay their employees at least $10.10 per hour.
4. Is the president requiring other industries to increase minimum wage? Currently it is encouraged but not required for other businesses to increase what is paid to employees earning minimum wage.
5. Is your business increasing what is paid as minimum wage? This may be a difficult question to answer as it is being reviewed state by state as to what will be required for businesses to pay as minimum wage, especially with some states passing bills that will increase the federal rate over the next three to five years.
Be open to having an honest conversation with your employees. If the minimum wage isn't increasing for your business, let them know about any special opportunities, such as promotions, that could possibly increase their pay. This could encourage improved performance and establish a new level of trust with your employees.
Snagajob, America's largest hourly employment network for job seekers and employers, asked over 500,000 current job seekers, "If the national minimum wage was raised to $10.10 per hour, what would you do with your increased pay?"
Over 64,000 job seekers responded, 36 percent answering that they would spend their pay increase on bills and 31 percent saying they would pay down current debt, using the money to get their lives and families back on track for growth. Twenty-four percent of job seekers would save the additional money and 6 percent would like to go back to school, kickstarting their education and preparation for the future.
/ Jason Hamilton serves as Snagajob’s vice president of product and marketing. In this role, he is responsible for creating products that instantly connect workers and employers. He also leads Snagajob's marketing strategies – from customer acquisition and retention to marketplace development and growth. Oh, and he had a cameo in a Bollywood film.