Supporters of a minimum wage increase are asking voters to approve raising Michiganâ??s minimum wage rate to $9.50 per hour. Employees and business owners speak out on how they feel it will affect the economy and their bank accounts.
â??I do hope it happens, but I hope they spread it out so itâ??s easier for the businesses to absorb,â?? said Tom Anderson, a minimum wage employee at Rosyâ??s Diner.
With Michiganâ??s current minimum wage rate at $7.40 an hour, the increase would be spread out over a yearâ??s time. January 2015 would see an increase of 50 cents and another increase in six months. The final $1.10 per hour would be implemented January 2016.
â??I wish I could pay them all 15, 20 bucks an hour, but it isnâ??t happening,â?? said Rosy Cox of Rosyâ??s Diner. â??Not unless my burgers are 10,12 bucks a piece.â??
Store owners and employees seem to agree: the current minimum wage is simply not enough. But, owners worry the increase in wages could lead to increase in cost of goods and services.
â??Prices do have to go up,â?? said Gladstone BP Gifts and Carwash manager, Linda Howes. â??Itâ??s common sense.â??
The community wonders, do employers slowly close the gap between their minimum wage and higher earning employees, or give them a pay bump, too?
â??What about the people that are making 12, 15, 16, 17 bucks an hour?â?? Howes said. â??Shouldnâ??t their prices go up as well?
With the federal minimum wage rate being $7.25 per hour, Michigan is already above average.