Minnesota minimum wage getting a boost

(ABC 6 NEWS) – Starting January 1st some Minnesotans will see a bump in their paycheck.

“As a part of the minimum wage legislation that past a couple of years ago, this increase is designed to help minimum wage workers keep up with inflation,” James Honerman with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Those who work for businesses that make over 500 thousand dollars a year will get a 26-cent increase an hour. Those working for companies that make less than 500 thousand will get a 22-cent increase.

“You can increase the minimum wage, but I don’t think that’s a cure for anything. You can debate whether employer is holding back and being stingy or however you want to spin it, but that laborer is worth the hire,” said Myron Wetzel.

A bump of 26-cents an hour equates to $540.80 a year.

“That’s enough to spend. Is it enough to say you were better off than you were last year? Probably not,” said Professor of Economics at Winona State University Dr. Matthew Hyle.

The Minnesota minimum wage is $10.59 an hour. But the federal minimum wage is much lower than that at $7.25 an hour. Based on those statistics MIT says, in a family of four the parents would both need to work 96 hours each at a minimum wage job to make a living income.

“That’s not enough. A single person can barely make ends meet with that. And that’s not enough if you have a family,” said Terry Keene.

There is some good news though. Inflation is down to 3.2 percent this year compared to 8.3 percent last year.

As inflation starts to fall buying power of the us dollar will increase. So that pay bump might be worth more if this trend continues.