|By Ike Wilson, The Frederick News-Post, Md.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Local reaction to the wage was mixed Tuesday.
Most employers tend to be against increases in minimum wages, particularly in an area like
Most states, including
"Raising the minimum wage is good and bad," Ceasar said. "Who doesn't want more? But if the minimum wage is raised in
The minimum wage "has to do with the area," said Gunneaux, as she walked out of
"For example, it doesn't cost that much to live in certain parts of
Gunneaux said her husband operates a small auto repair business. A depressed economy has resulted in people getting minimal repair work done on their vehicles, and her husband has struggled to avoid laying off any of the shop's nine employees.
"If business doesn't start getting better, it's cheaper to let people go and pay unemployment insurance," Gunneaux said.
Area residents are fortunate that most people make more than minimum wage, and the average household income levels are significantly higher than what minimum wage levels would be, Coblentz said.
"However, the minimum wage is significant for all employers, because it sets the bar for the starting point for wages," Coblentz said. "An increase in the entry-level salaries will usually mean a trickle-up effect on all the other wages in an organization."
Locally, entry-level jobs for employers like the hospitality and food service industries are notably affected by changes in the minimum wage, Coblentz said.
"In a truly free enterprise system, wages will increase naturally as cost-of-living increases occur. Also, the most successful businesses will generally pay higher wages," Coblentz said.
"All employers are forced to stay competitive with their wages and benefits offered when finding and keeping the talent that they need to be successful. It often comes down to supply and demand. As unemployment decreases, we generally see average wages increase."
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