Minimum Wage Going Up in WA and OR
Another year gone by and another bump in dollars.
Starting January 1, employees will see another increase in minimum wage.
Workers like "Jason" say they want the trend to continue to help make ends meet, he asked to remain anonymous during his interview.
"I work two jobs right now, I have a job at a restaurant and a job at a gym, and I work six days a week," said "Jason."
On January 1, thirteen states across the country, including Washington and Oregon are slated to raise their minimum wage.
Oregon will go up to $9.10 an hour, while Washington will increase to $9.32 an hour, maintaining it's spot as the highest paying state in the country.
For workers, the pay raise meets the increase in cost of living and other obligations.
"I work at a pretty prestigious restaurant, so I get to see people that have more than enough," said "Jason," And me being a person that works there, having just enough to get by, I think we all would appreciate it a lot more."
Small business owners say they aren't really worried about the wage increase.
They say because their staff is so small, it wouldn't really hurt finances to add a few more dollars to the employees paycheck.
"Say if we were a company or corporation who has 100-plus employees, then another dollar an hour, and you multiply that by a hundred times thirty or forty hours a week, you start trying to figure out where that extra three or four thousand dollars a week is going to come from," said business owner Joe Mann.
Those against the increase say it will lead to layoffs -- companies looking for ways to get the job done at a cheaper rate.
But for people like "Jason," if it helps pay the bills, it's worth the risk.
"I's still hard for anybody these days to get above water," said "Jason," "Right now I'm right at waters level, I just want to be able to paddle."
According to the Labor Department, about 3.6 million people in the country were paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 in 2012.
Washington state's minimum wage is calculated based on the average change in prices of goods and services, such as food, shelter, medical care and transportation.