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Minimum Wage Boost Could Help Central Florida Women

March 26, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando--An advocacy group expert says Central Florida women could benefit from President Barack Obama's plan to increase the federal minimum wage.

A White House report out Wednesday shows 55 percent of people earning minimum wage in the U.S. are female.  It says boosting it $10.10 an hour could decrease the gender wage gap by about five percent.

Toni Van Pelt is Public Policy Director for the Institute for Science and Human Values in Tampa and Southeast Regional Director for the National Organization for Women. 

She says increasing the minimum wage would especially help Florida residents in the service industry. “They’re bartenders; they’re the valet servers – the maids,” she says.  “So many people are living in poverty and on food stamps, so that, yes, an increase in minimum wage would be a significant thing for all of us.”

Some business leaders argue an increase in the minimum wage would force layoffs. 

Florida’s minimum wage is already 68 cents higher than the federal rate.  The minimum wage for tipped workers is about the same as the president’s proposed increase.


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