Workers, employers say Michigan wage hike too small for big impact

BERKLEY - Michigan’s minimum wage earners will get a pay raise on Labor Day. The $7.40-per-hour minimum wage goes up to $8.15 an hour, as part of a gradual 25 percent increase. The minimum wage will go up each year and eventually cap out at $9.25 an hour in 2018.

"Most of my income goes toward food and rent,” 23-year-old Christina Farrow of Oak Park said.

The Central Michigan University student was earning $7.40 an hour, which she said isn’t enough for most people. Farrow’s job recently bumped her pay to $8.20 an hour, but Farrow said she hasn’t noticed much of a difference yet.

"It's a good thing, but I don't think it's enough,” Karen Monroe of Detroit said of the 10 percent increase.

At Clark's Ice Cream and Yogurt shop in downtown Berkley, where summertime business booms, Justin Bumann pays most of his workers more than minimum wage.

“Everything in order to live increases in price, so should what you get paid,”Bumann said.

He said the wage hike will impact his bottom line - customers will have to pay a little more for their treats. But he said he'll adjust.

"It’s nothing to go crazy about, it's not doomsday,” he said.

The next wage hike kicks in Jan. 1, 2015 to $8.50 an hour.

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