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Labor Day, jobs, and the minimum wage

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On this Labor Day weekend, President Barack Obama is continuing to hammer home his point that it’s time for Congress to raise the minimum wage. Republicans have repeatedly blocked attempts to raise the federal minimum wage gradually from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. In his weekly address, President Obama insisted raising the minimum wage will help more than 20 million struggling Americans make ends meet and grow the economy. The president says “… the states where the minimum wage has gone up this year have experienced higher job growth than the states that haven’t.”

California’s minimum wage rate rose to $9.00 an hour last July, far short of the president’s recommendation. Cities like San Francisco have raised their minimum wage and others like Los Angeles are moving in that direction. Meanwhile, some companies in the private sector have already discovered the advantages of paying their employees a decent salary among them IKEA and Costco.

Last June, IKEA announced a new company policy, which raised the average employee’s salary to $10.76 an hour. Several hundred employees at its Burbank store benefited from that new policy. Also, another Media City retailer Costco is reaping the benefits of offering good paying jobs.

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Costco store 1051 West Burbank Blvd. Burbank July 21, 2014

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Costco store 1051 West Burbank Blvd. Burbank July 21, 2014

Costco reportedly pays its workers an average  of $20.89 an hour and they get overtime! A win-win situation. The employees are able to have a higher standard of living and pump more money into the economy. Both IKEA and Costco deserve a shout out on this Labor Day.




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