It's minimum wage increase day!

minimum wage
minimum wage

Today the federal minimum wage increased 70 cents to $6.55, as the second phase of a series of moves meant to bring the minimum wage up over a three year period. The "raise" will affect roughly 1.7 million workers or 2.3% of hourly workers, which means that collectively the cost of employing all minimum wage workers for one hour jumped $1.19 million today.

Despite the increase, the new rate is still below the inflation-adjusted 1997 level of $7.02, and far below the inflation-adjusted level of $10.06 from 40 years ago, according to a Labor Department inflation calculator. And it obviously still leaves many families well under the poverty line.

You'd think that getting a 12% raise during poor economic times would be a great help for 850,000 people over 25 who are making minimum wage. Unfortunately the increase is often quickly passed to the items these same workers need to buy; including food and gasoline. Smaller Businesses will also feel the pinch as they struggle to cope with higher wages and customers who are sick of seeing prices go up time and time again.