Saturday, May 26, 2007

Increase In Federal Minimum Wage

Hey, it's Memorial Day weekend and I should be at the beach with margarita in hand. Instead, I feel compelled to advise my loyal readership that the cost of labor is expected to rise very soon.

Congress has approved the first increase in the Federal minimum wage in almost a decade and the President is expected to sign the bill shortly. The current minimum wage of $5.15 per hour will rise to $5.85 per hour sometime this year, probably by summer's end. In 2008, the hourly minimum wage is slated to again rise to $6.55 with a final increase to $7.25 per hour occurring sometime in 2009.

The effect of the increase depends on the State in which your business is located. Currently, about half of the States have higher minimum wages than the existing Federal rate, so the increased cost may not kick-in right away. For example, New York State's minimum wage is now $7.15 per hour, so New York employers won't experience an increase until 2009 if the State rate remains at its current level. Readers are advised to contact their particular State Department of Labor for information on applicable minimum wage rates.

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