Ohio's minimum wage to increase on January 1

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio's minimum wage law will increase by ten cents for hourly wage workers on January 1, 2014.

Minimum wage in Ohio, beginning on the first of the year, will be $7.95 an hour. Most state minimum wages will be higher than the federal requirement of $7.25 an hour in 21 states, up from 18 two years ago.

In 2006, on behalf of Ohio’s lowest wage earners, the Ohio AFL-CIO and the coalition Ohioans for a Fair Minimum Wage successfully placed the constitutional amendment on the ballot, which tied Ohio’s minimum wage rate to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  The CPI increased 1.5 percent from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013.

“This is not nearly enough to achieve a livable wage for many workers but any and all upward pressure on wages is better than the stagnant wages we have seen,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. 

“There is a direct economic benefit to the increase as these wage earners will spend directly into our communities and local economies,” Burga said. 

Minimum wage laws, originally passed as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, were created to prevent market forces from driving down the wages of low earners in the work force. 
 
“Too many workers, however, will still be forced to rely on taxpayer-funded public assistance programs because the wages they are paid are not enough to make ends meet,” Burga said.  “Corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s enjoy record profits and their CEOs are paid obscenely large salaries ─ all while the workers at these companies suffer and Ohio’s taxpayers are squeezed,” Burga said. 
 
Ohio is one of 13 states increasing minimum wage on Wednesday. Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut.
 
Washington will have the highest minimum wage in the country, at $9.32 an hour.
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