SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The Obama Administration wants to raise the federal minimum wage. 22News looked into some of the concerns people have about the wage increase.
Obama wants to boost the minimum wage to 10 dollars and 10 cents by 2016. The raise would be gradual, going to 9 dollars per hour first, and then increase slowly. The federal minimum wage has been 7 dollars and 25 cents since 2009 .
A recent congressional budget office report found that the raise could help lift 900 thousand people out of poverty, but some people are concerned about the impact on business.
Karen Starks of Springfield told 22News that the minimum wage should be raised only if the job market can handle it. “The only thing we might have to worry about here is are the jobs available for that kind of money. We see here a lot of people working 2, 3 jobs. Their main job is hardly paying anything. I would say a survey of the jobs to see if its feasible. “
Republicans fear that the proposal could eliminate up to 1 million jobs from the economy. But some economists see more benefits from the increase. A professor in the economics department of Western New England University told 22News some of those benefits.
Karl Petrick said, “98% of people working would benefit from the higher minimum wage. This would certainly have an effect in terms of increasing demand people with more money out there. people would spend more money, which would create jobs.”
If the minimum wage goes up sharply, some companies might not be able to accommodate the raise, and in turn cut hours or even cut workers. There are also concerns that raising the minimum wage could raise the cost of everyday items, such as milk and gas. But the increase in store prices would still be smaller than the increase in wage.
Households of incomes in the 100 thousands could see a decrease of about $700. But that’s less than 1% of the workforce.