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Working Hard But Unable To Earn A Livable Wage?

Working hard but unable to earn a livable wage?

Working hard but unable to earn a livable wage? That may change.

Numerous news reports focus on workers’ inability to earn a livable wage, despite their efforts. But if you are an employee earning minimum wage, you may be interested in knowing your current $10.10 hourly rate may soon increase.

Thanks to a bill which was recently approved by the Maryland House of Delegates, the statewide minimum wage may increase to $15 per hour by 2025. And while the bill was met with some opposition about the possibility of driving companies out of business, those who support the bill maintain that increasing the minimum wage could help raise workers out of poverty. But if employees had to search for out-of-state employment, what kinds of minimum wages would they find?

What are other state minimums in the area?

Since some who oppose the bill believe the increase could cause businesses to cut jobs, forcing workers to look for jobs in neighboring states, it may be good to consider other minimums.

  • Virginia follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
  • Pennsylvania does the same.
  • West Virginia’s minimum wage is $8.75.
  • The same is currently true for Delaware, though theirs will increase to $9.25 this fall.
  • In the District of Columbia, the current minimum of $13.25 is increasing to $14 this summer.

One opponent of the bill expressed concerns about workers earning too much money to qualify for benefits, like subsidized housing and food stamps.  However, the state has experienced an increase in business formations while the minimum wage increased from $7.25 to the current $10.10 rate over the past four years.

What happens next?

The bill is moving to the Senate for consideration about the gradual increase. Meanwhile, there is a pending bill in Congress which, if passed, would increase the federal minimum wage to $15.

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