AUDIO: Minimum wage goes up

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Aug 1, 2014 at 7:12 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minimum-wage earners in Minnesota get a pay raise to $8 an hour.

For Minnesota's lowest-paid workers, the most welcome move the Legislature made this year was increasing the minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade.

The hourly wage moves from $6.15 to $8, the first in a series of steps that will eventually set it at $9.50 an hour for big companies, including those with gross annual sales topping a half-million dollars. Smaller companies phase up to $7.25 an hour next year, which is currently the federal minimum wage, then $7.75 by August 2016.

Dan McElroy is the president of Minnesota Hospitality--which represents the state's restaurant industry. He says waiters and waitresses will be affected most by the higher minimum, because tips are not considered income in Minnesota. 

He says a survey they conducted with restaurant owners indicates 93-percent of respondents indicated they would raise prices when the minimum goes to $9.50 an hour, 60 percent will reduce their hours, and 50-percent will hire fewer people. 

And starting in 2018, the minimum wage is indexed to inflation, which likely means automatic raises.

McElroy on who will be impacted most by the minimum wage hike

McElroy says a survey they conducted indicates there will be fallout from higher wages

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