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Friday AM July 24th, 2009

The federal minimum wage is now $7.25 per hour. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis held a joint telephone news conference with California Congressman George Miller to discuss this third increase installment, as Ed Mayberry reports.


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The minimum wage is now 70 cents higher than yesterday—a 10.7 per cent increase.  This is the third installment of a three-step increase, as U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis explains.

“And as a member of Congress in 2007, I joined with Chairman Miller in helping pass the air Minimum Wage Act, which amended the Fair Labor Standards Act and raised the minimum wage for the first time in ten years—one decade.  Seventy cents an hour may not seem like much to you, but in these current economic times, that modest increase will help anywhere from three to five million Americans better meet the demands of their families.  The increase will benefit the workers of 30 states by putting $120 extra in the pockets of full-time minimum wage workers.” 

California Representative George Miller says the increase can be seen as an economic stimulus in recessionary times.

“We’re talking about over $100 a week being put in these individuals’ pockets.  What this means is that they will be able to provide for some of the neccessities for their families.  We’re not talking about luxuries, we’re talking about neccessities.  We know that the minimum wage pumps additional money into the economy.  The secretary said we think this will mean over five-and-a-half billion dollars into the economy over the next year.That’s going to help businesses, that’s going to help our communities, it’s going to help families.  And this is an important part of the economic recovery of this country.”

The three-step increase in the minimum wage are the first increases in ten years.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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