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Acting US Labor Secretary Pushes for Minimum Wage Raise


April 25th, 2013 | WMFE- The Obama administration is pushing to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. That could have a big impact on Central Florida's workforce, where a significant number of jobs are in the hospitality and leisure industries.

[Image: Acting US Secretary of Labor Seth Harris]

About 20 per cent of the jobs in metro Orlando are in the leisure and hospitality industry- raising the minimum wage by $1.75 an hour could put more money in many of those workers’ wallets.

Acting US labor secretary Seth Harris has been touring the country to promote lifting the minimum wage. He acknowledges there could be some pushback from employers.

“There is some risk that employers will have to raise prices a little bit, maybe a few pennies on a hamburger, maybe a dollar on hotel room, but it’s not going to have a measurable effect on inflation- we haven’t seen measurable effects in the past," says Harris. 

"Instead what we’re going to see is this growth in spending that will help the local economy, help local businesses,” he says.

Harris says congress will also have to debate whether to increase the wages of tipped employees- like restaurant staff.

Some US lawmakers are calling for a bigger increase in the minimum wage, with legislation that would boost it to $10.10 an hour.

 

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