White House Continues Effort To Increase Minimum Wage
The White House is continuing to take its effort to raise the nation's minimum wage on the road. The proposed change was part of President Obama's message during his stop at an Asheville plant in February. He said it's time for an increase in the minimum wage "because if you work full time, you shouldn't be in poverty."
North Carolina is one of 23 states where the minimum wage is the same as the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. Acting US Secretary of Labor Seth Harris says he's been traveling the county pushing the president's plan to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour.
"When you increase the minimum wage in a moderate way, you don't see a lot of people losing their jobs as a consequence," Harris said. " So I think we can help these families. We can put money in their pockets and in turn help small businesses in their community by giving them spending money that they're going to turn around and use at the local grocer and at the same time lift these folks out of poverty."
Opponents of the increase say it could cost employers more to hire new workers. They say the increase could cause some inflation of prices. Harris says the debate is still in the conversation stage but he feels there is support for it on Capitol Hill.