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Florida Minimum Wage Rises 12 Cents An Hour

January 2nd, 2008 by flanews

People working for minimum wage will soon feel a little more green in their pockets. The new year is bringing a 12 cent an hour increase in Florida where the minimum wage is now $6.79 an hour. The state’s yearly minimum wage hike is tied to the cost of living, and as Chris Casquejo explains, for most small business owners, the increase is hardly a blip on their radar screen.

Hear it here: Florida Minimum Wage Rises 12 Cents An Hour

View: Florida Minimum Wage Rises 12 Cents An Hour

Ralph Ricardo is opening a new sub shop and hiring 20 new workers.
Because Florida’s minimum wage just went up 12 cents an hour, he’ll have to pay each one $6.79. His yearly cost is five thousand dollars more than what it would have been in 2007.

“Since we’re starting at $6.79, I don’t know that 12 cents between 20 employees would have hurt, make me or break me,” he said. “Right now, I don’t feel it’s going to hurt me too bad.”

Nationally, the minimum wage is $5.85 an hour. Employers have to pay the higher of the two minimum wage rates.

Florida is one of 10 states to raise its minimum wage each year based on cost of living increases. But a Florida State University economist says most people earning minimum wage are students, or those with second jobs.

“Some people do, do better off because they get a wage increase,” said David Macpherson, an FSU economics professor. “But remember, that most people earning the minimum wage are not poor. So it doesn’t do anything to reduce the poverty rate.”

At Looper’s Sub Shop, some workers didn’t even know the minimum wage went up. They question how much it will help them.

“Now a dollar and 12 cents, maybe,” said worker Rachel Houston. “But 12 cents, I don’t think it will make a difference.”

Small business owners like Ralph Ricardo aren’t looking forward to summer 2009. That’s when the federal minimum wage jumps to $7.25 an hour.

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