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Portland Press Herald (ME): Don’t be surprised if the private sector solves the minimum wage debate

By Carol Coultas
Portland Press Herald (ME), Mar 7, 2015

...When Wal-Mart announced it was raising its minimum wage to $9 an hour, T.J. Maxx and other retailers followed suit within one week. Some companies established their own thresholds earlier – Whole Foods, Ikea, the Gap, Starbucks all offer minimum wages of $9 per hour or more. Here in Maine, Adam Lee, owner of Lee Auto Malls, contacted me last spring to say his company was adopting a $10-per-hour minimum wage. Jim Wellehan, owner of Lamey-Wellehan shoe stores, has always paid well above minimum wage, with new employees now earning $10 per hour. ...

Work in Progress: Higher Wages Smart for Business

By Jason Surbey
Work in Progress, U.S. Department of Labor Blog, Mar 7, 2015

As President Obama and Secretary Perez have said, raising the minimum wage isn’t just the right thing to do for working families it’s the smart thing to do to grow our economy.

And business leaders of all kinds agree, saying that they see higher wages as a sound business investment. They know that higher wages boosts productivity and reduces the high costs associated with turnover. They also know that consumer spending drives our economy; more money in people’s pockets means more...

WABI-TV CBS 5 (ME): Lawmakers Seek Minimum Wage Increase

By Nakell Williams
WABI-TV CBS 5 (Bangor, Maine), Mar 4, 2015

Lamey Wellehan’s Shoe Store has been around for more than 100 years.

“Wage wise it has always been on the upper tier making sure we are all well paid,” said Lamey Wellehan Manager, Don Lessard.

The owner Jim Whellehan believes in treating his team with fairness and dignity.

“As a sales associate the highest in 2013 was just under $20,” said Lamey Wellehan President, Jim Wellehan.

Employees have always made above the state’s minimum wage of $7.50, but that’s not the case for many...

Wall Street Journal: What’s Behind Restaurant Workers’ Faster-Rising Paychecks?

By Eric Morath and Jeffrey Sparshott
Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2015

Restaurant workers received bigger raises last year than workers in most other jobs.

Is that because the minimum wage has increased in recent years in two dozen states? Or because Americans are eating out more, causing restaurant owners to bump up pay for burger flippers, waitresses and dishwashers?

The reality is some of both.

Restaurants have hired at a faster pace than the typical company since the middle of 2010. Food workers’ hourly pay grew 3.1% last year after growing less than 2% a...

Wall Street Journal: Wages Rise at Restaurants as Labor Market Tightens

By Eric Morath and Jeffrey Sparshott
Wall Street Journal, Feb 27, 2015

Wage growth is breaking out in an unexpected corner of the U.S. economy: the nation’s restaurants and bars.

Food-service employment has surged since the recession ended nearly six years ago, growing twice as fast as overall payrolls. But those gains had largely failed to translate into better wages in the sector, until recently. Restaurant wages zoomed up to an annualized pace of more than 3% in the second half of last year from below a 1.5% pace in the first half of 2013...

Investopedia: Can A Family Survive On The U.S. Minimum Wage?

By Basia Hellwig
Investopedia, Feb 26, 2015

Last week, Walmart (WMT), the largest private employer in the United States, announced that half a million of its workers would get a pay bump to at least $9 an hour by April (2015) and at least $10 by next February (2016). That’s good news for Walmart employees, but also is likely to have a ripple effect for many more at other large employers of low-wage workers. One might ask, what took so long? ...

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25, or $15,080 a year, since 2009...

Local News Nashville: Walmart to raise minimum wages to $9, $10 per hour

By Windsor Genova
Local News Nashville, Feb 24, 2015
Nationally syndicated by Local News Network with placements in Baltimore, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Ft. Worth, Milwaukee, Tampa, and many more.

Retail giant Walmart Inc. announced Thursday it will increase the minimum hourly wage of its half a million employees to $9 in April and to $10 next year. ...

"Walmart’s low wages have been a drag on the U.S. economy, with many of its employees relying on public assistance just to get by. We need to restore the eroded purchasing power of the federal minimum wage so that paying wages that workers can live on is not optional. That will boost business and strengthen our economy,” said Holly Sklar , chief executive of the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage ( BFMW ), according to The New York Times.

Meadville Tribune (PA): Dems mounting campaign to up state's minimum wage

By John Finnerty
Meadville Tribune (PA), Feb 22, 2015

Supporters of a higher minimum wage say larger payroll costs are mitigated in the long run. Better paid workers are more productive and less apt to change jobs, which lowers training costs, said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage campaign.

Barron-Menza’s group released data that show 61 percent of small business owners support an increase in the federal minimum wage.

CNBC: More $9 an hour? Pressure on for franchises to raise wages

By Kate Rogers
CNBC, Feb 20, 2015

With Wal-Mart raising the entry-level wage for workers to $9 an hour, the pressure is mounting for other private employers to follow. ...

The retailer's decision revives the stalled effort to hike the federal minimum wage, says Holly Sklar, chief executive of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national advocacy group. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

"This adds to the growing momentum for raising the federal minimum wage," said Sklar in an email to CNBC. "The business case for raising starting pay is strong...

PR Watch: Walmart Wages in Perspective

By Jody Knauss
PR Watch, Feb 20, 2015

To much fanfare, Walmart announced yesterday a program to raise wages for its lowest paid workers. ...

Holly Sklar of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage notes many Walmart workers rely on foodstamps and other forms of public assistance to make ends meet. And “given that the buying power of the 1968 federal minimum wage is nearly $11 [per hour] adjusted for inflation, Walmart should be setting higher targets than $9 in April 2015 and $10 in 2016,” she said.