Ohio minimum wage set to increase Jan. 1 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

OH minimum wage to increase Jan. 1

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COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) -

On Jan. 1, 2014, workers covered under Ohio's minimum wage law will see a 10 cent increase in their hourly wage, taking them to $7.95 an hour. Pay for workers who receive tips will increase to $3.98 an hour. The increased minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $292,000 per year.

In 2006, on behalf of Ohio's lowest wage earners, the Ohio AFL-CIO and the coalition Ohioans for a Fair Minimum Wage successfully placed the constitutional amendment on the ballot, which tied Ohio's minimum wage rate to the Consumer Price Index. The CPI increased 1.5 percent from Sept. 1, 2012 to Aug. 31, 2013.

Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga says the increase is still not enough for many workers, but any change for the better will help.

"There is a direct economic benefit to the increase as these wage earners will spend directly into our communities and local economies. Too many workers, however, will still be forced to rely on taxpayer-funded public assistance programs because the wages they are paid are not enough to make ends meet. Corporations like Walmart and McDonald's enjoy record profits and their CEOs are paid obscenely large salaries „Ÿ all while the workers at these companies suffer and Ohio's taxpayers are squeezed," said Burga. 

Originally passed as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the purpose of the minimum wage was to prevent market forces from driving down the wages of the lowest earners in the labor force. Research shows that an increase in the minimum wage also spurs employers to increase wages for other low-wage workers.

Minimum wage workers in a dozen other states will also receive higher paychecks in the new year.

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