On Your Side: Minimum Wage Increase

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News 12 at 6, July 24, 2007

Augusta -- Today, all minimum wage workers received a raise from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 an hour.

That extra cash might not make too much of a difference in most people's lives.

This is the first minimum wage increase in 10 years.

To some that's good news, but many still say that it's not enough because people can't survive on that type of earning.

So, those folks making minimum wage will see about a 60 cents an hour increase.

That will increase a full-time minimum wage employees’ yearly salary by $1500 bucks.

But how far will that stretch? We did the math to show you.

Let's compare the differences between $5.15 an hour and $5.85 an hour for a full-time single person with no dependents.

After taxes, on $5.15 an hour, you'll earn $728.00 a month.

At $5.85 an hour, you'll take home a little more than $814 a month.

Let's compare what you can afford for rent, which should be no more than 30% of your income.

At $5.15 that's only $218 a month and at $5.85, it's about $250.

That leaves only $500 dollars for things like a car, gas, food, clothes and utilities. All of you know how quickly those things can add up.

All of a sudden at $5.15, you have $10 dollars left and at $5.85, you have $96 dollars left.

And, that doesn't even take into account, an increase in the income tax differences.

We didn't take into consideration the fact that this person would probably be eligible for some sort of government assistance, but it does give you an idea of how far that money would go.

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