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Group Backing Evers Call For Minimum Wage Raise

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A research group is backing Governor Evers' budget proposal to raise the minimum wage over four years to $10.50 per hour, which the study shows would give 1 out of 6 Wisconsin workers a raise. 

The Wisconsin Budget Project is a research arm of the Madison-based Kids Forward. The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and spokesperson Tamarine Cornelius says it has been there awhile..

"...It hasn't been increased since 2009 and since then inflation has eaten away at the value of that wage. So it means that people who are earning minimum wage are earning a little bit less each year..."

Cornelius says the study would generate about $387 million in wages for low-paid workers...

"...This move would give a raise to 464,000 workers in Wisconsin, or about 1 out of every 6 workers..."

The wide majority of workers – 75 percent– who would get a raise are age 20 or older, with teenagers making up only one-quarter of affected workers. Sixty-one percent of the workers who would get a raise are women. Twenty percent of affected workers are parents, with the average worker with a child providing 55 percent of their family’s total income. According to the analysis, full-time workers who get a raise would earn an additional $800 a year. Business groups say raising the wage will mean fewer jobs, but Cornelius says data doesn't show that to be the case...

"An enormous body of research that has examined the real world effects of minimum wage hikes found that raising the minimum wage has little to no (impact) on employment levels. Instead it was found was job growth held steady and workers had more money in their pockets..."

Business interests, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have fought increasing the minimum wage saying the impact on businesses is severe.

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