Raising the Minimum Wage, Raising Expectations

There is lots of talk about raising the minimum wage on a state-by-state basis. I’ve seen the figures $11+ to $15 per hour tossed around, mulled, worried over. Will it push smaller companies into bankruptcy, force larger ones to hire fewer people? What about those already hired? Yes, they will get more money, but will they be doing more work because companies will hire fewer people? Will consumer goods and services costs rise as companies pass the cost along to the consumer?  These are all real worries, but there is something else that economists are not really considering.

What about the companies who offer their employees $11 to $15 an hour right now? They justify these not-so-high wages by saying, “At least you are making above the minimum wage.” Will they also consider wage hikes to keep their employees satisfied? Something to consider as more jobs open up and employees start to think about moving on to more profitable pastures. Hiring managers complain that there is no longer company loyalty on the part of employees. Yet how loyal are employees going to be when companies continue to use “the poor economy” as an excuse for low wages? The economy has been on the rebound for awhile now with more jobs opening up, yet wages have remained stagnant. Incentive to move on, yes?

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