Obama minimum wage plan renews economic debate


Associated Press

Posted on February 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is on the road trying to sell his plan to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour.

Obama told a crowd in Asheville, N.C., today it's time to increase the minimum wage "because if you work full-time, you shouldn't be in poverty."

More than 15 million workers earn the national minimum wage, making about $15,080 a year. That's just below the federal poverty threshold of $15,130 for a family of two.

In his State of the Union address last night, Obama called for a raise in the minimum wage and boosting it annually to keep pace with inflation.

The proposal is already getting a trial run as ten states already make similar cost-of-living adjustments. Workers in Washington state earn at least $9.19 an hour, the highest minimum wage in the country. In all, 19 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages set above the federal rate of $7.25.

Advocates claim boosting the minimum wage will pump more money into the economy. Business groups say it would burden employers and curb demand for new workers.

%@AP Links

241-a-09-(President Obama, speaking at Linamar Corp. truck parts plant)-"and get ahead"-President Obama says it's time to raise the minimum wage, because hard-working families shouldn't languish in poverty. (13 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *241 (02/13/13)>> 00:09 "and get ahead"

239-w-35-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Obama)--President Obama is rallying support for his State of the Union proposals to boost manufacturing and hike the minimum wage. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (13 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *239 (02/13/13)>> 00:35

205-a-13-(Delsa Bernardo, owner, Yiya's Cafe, in AP interview)-"a little concerning"-Yiya's Cafe Owner Delsa Bernardo says she's a bit worried about the president's call for a boost in the minimum wage to $9 per hour by the end of 2015. (13 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *205 (02/13/13)>> 00:13 "a little concerning"

209-c-11-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent)-"to hire people"-AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports the president's proposal to raise the minimum wage is a non-starter for the GOP. (13 Feb 2013)

<<CUT *209 (02/13/13)>> 00:11 "to hire people"

APPHOTO GFX406: Chart shows states with minimum wages higher than the Federal wage (13 Feb 2013)

<<APPHOTO GFX406 (02/13/13)>>