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Minimum Wage Could Rise to $9

News of President Barack Obama’s plan to seek a raise in the federal minimum wage is causing a widespread debate around the country and in Mid-Missouri.If the $9 minimum wage becomes a reality, it will be a pay bump of $1.65 in Missouri since the state’s minimum wage is a dime higher per hour than the federal standard.While those working low wage jobs are thrilled, not everyone thinks the president’s proposal is a good idea despite Obama’s good intentions.”Research shows that an increase in minimum wage has deleterious effects,” said University of Missouri Economics Professor Joe Haslag. Experts say companies could look for alternatives rather than pay employees higher wages. That could include replacing workers with machines or incorporating more technology in the workplace.At the end of the day, the number of people employed may decrease. Professor Haslag’s opinion is not shared by all however. Several stores in downtown Columbia have a different approach to the proposed new minimum wage.”I think it will be good for those who are struggling but at the same time I can see businesses would find it harder,” said Victoria Kasprzak. “Like from my standpoint, seeing, having to cut down staff.””That will definitely help me a lot because I’m trying to get more hours but it’s so competitive with a school this big and so, just that dollar something would help exponentially,” said Brooke Sushka.According to the president, a full time worker making minimum wage earns less than $15,000 a year. A family with two kids that live off minimum wage still live below the poverty line. That is what the president hopes to get rid of and get more Americans earning what he calls a “liveable” wage.President Obama hopes to enact the raise starting in 2015 and it would affect 15 million workers. Over the last four years, the federal minimum wage has stayed $7.25. In a 2010 survey, two-thirds of Americans said they would like to see minimum wage jump to $10 an hour.

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