ALEXANDRIA, La. – President Obama reviled in his State of The Union Speech that he will be moving to increase minimum wage to 9.00 per hour. This change will be meant to enable families to keep up with the changing economy and its prices surrounding standards of living therein.
While this should mean fewer families on welfare, local businesses are saying that they will actually be forced to cut their hiring. It means limited job security for those employed, less hours and less available jobs in the community overall.
Rachael Penton from News Channel 5 spoke to owner of Beef O’Brady’s. Brouillette from O’Brady’s said, "We'll have to hire less people since we're paying them more. So instead of hiring two people at $7.25 we can just hire one at $9.00."His statement only reinforced that the raise in minimum wage would eliminate jobs, and the added expense would show up on the customers’ bills. He said that a price increase would be certain, and even then they may still have to shut their doors. Many other local small-businesses seem to agree.
Our welfare families working for minimum wage are not the only ones that will be affected. With the job market as it is today, many of our college graduates are holding minimum wage jobs in the community. Corey Taylor was also interviewed by Rachael Penton from News Channel 5. Cory said that, "I wouldn't be killing myself as hard to make that little extra money. It would definitely pay off. I could work 38 and still make the same instead of working 10 to 12 overtime."
For now the vote is not in, and the local rates to live continue to raise with no relief for the employees of these minimum wage jobs. Until Congress votes this in nothing will change. After it passes Congress many people are anxious as they wait to see if the rise in minimum wage will eliminate even more jobs in Alexandria? Others are concerned rather or not the local small business will start cutting back early to prepare for the changes. It is a wait and see process for an already suffering region.