How Will A Higher Minimum Wage Affect Brooklyn?

March 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

President Obama and Democrats in Albany want a higher minimum wage. Among Brooklyn’s low-wage workers, who will it help and how much?

Melissa Jordan, 24, says she “loves” proposals by President Obama and elected officials in Albany to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, from its current rate of $7.25.

Jordan has been working two years as a cashier at a pizza chain in Bedford-Stuyvesant. She hasn’t seen a raise since she started working there full-time two years ago. Today, she works 24 hours a week.

Even when she was a full-time employee earning the minimum, she says couldn’t have supported her two small children without her husband’s salary. She gets no insurance from her employer.

The president’s plan to bump up the minimum wage and tie it to annual increases in the cost of living would allow her more free time to spend with her children, she says.

But it wouldn’t do anything to help the manager of a fast-food outlet nearby
who earns almost twice the federal minimum wage yet still barely makes it. By the time she is finished paying her bills at the end of each month, the single mother of three, who asked not to be named, is left with just about “nothing.”

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