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Labor Report

Great Reason for Minimum Wage Hike

CheckLeave it to what many consider as the bastion of things financially reasonable for delivering one of the best reasons for a minimum wage increase: the Federal Reserve.

The central bankers are pondering a hike in interest rates, but before doing so, they are seriously considering the number of people who are working two or three jobs to equal one job and make ends meet.

According to, the share of employed people working multiple jobs is at a two-decade high.

“These people are not included in statistics on the part-time population, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines full-time workers in its current population survey as ‘those who usually worked 35 hours or more (at all jobs combined)’,” Nina Glinski reported. “Counting them as fully employed, especially when they would rather have just one steady job, may mask weakness in the labor market.”

This hidden slack is important as we ponder a minimum wage increase and as we better understand the reality behind declining monthly unemployment numbers.

I make this point because yet another study is proving how higher minimum wage rates equal positive economic policy.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy recently looked at the impact of a higher base hourly wage on small businesses and found:

“Higher minimum wage will lead to better worker productivity, lower turnover, and small businesses know that,” said Chuck Sheketoff, director of the center. “That means more money for the small business employers when they have savings from increased productivity and lower turnover. The productivity gains reduce the cost and reduce their bottom line.”

Nearly 590,000 Oregonians would benefit from a higher minimum. And that state’s legislature is considering a bill that would move the rate to $15 an hour – which is more than double Pennsylvania’s paltry $7.25.

Why is a higher minimum wage important in Pennsylvania? Quite simply: our frontline workers deserve the money.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, housing and food prices – the necessities of life – are gobbling up the wages of poverty-level earners.

“The bottom 10 percent of Americans, by income, devote 42 percent of their spending to housing and an additional 17 percent to food – nearly 60 percent of their total spending, according to the Consumer Expenditures Survey. By contrast, the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans dedicate only 31 percent of their spending to housing and 11% to food–closer to 40% of total spending.”

None other than the Wall Street Journal reported on the Consumer Expenditures Survey.

You’d heard me say this before: the time is now to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.


Historical Bummer

Even criminals are picking on labor, and it’s not right.

The Beaver Times reported over the weekend that crooks stole two historical markers in Aliquippa that observed the 1937 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the existence of the National Labor Relations Board.

“All that was left of a United Steelworkers of America Local 1211 plaque dedicated in 1976 was the empty spot where it was bolted onto a granite memorial,” reporter J.D. Prose wrote. “Next to that, there was just a headless pole on which a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission marker, unveiled in 2000, was supposed to be perched.”

It’s bad that someone felt the need to steal the markers. What’s worse is it’s expected to cost more than $1,600 to replace them.

Fair Wage Business of the Week

GryphonOur featured member of Businesses for a Fair Minimum Wage and Pennsylvania Businesses for a Fair Minimum Wage is Gryphon Systems Inc. in Wynnewood, PA. Gryphon, like its fellow fair wage supporters, favors a hike in the minimum wage for men and women of all ages. In Pennsylvania, minimum wage workers have been receiving the nominal hourly pay rate of $7.25 since 2009.  Tipped workers have been waiting much longer for their raise, and men still out-earn women.

The employees of Gryphon excel at finding operating solutions for companies that are struggling with strategic planning and management. They work hard to make sure companies are pleased and achieving their end goals.

Not only do Gryphon’s staff know their way around the office when it comes to problem solving and task maintenance, but they are also skilled information-technology specialists.  If they can’t meet all of a company’s needs, they work with several outside firms to make available the additional support services required for their clients.

By providing summaries and links to websites offering information and research that may be useful to developing businesses, Gryphon Systems does the hard work for clients so they can focus on their company.

From its exemplary services to its model stance on employee pay, Gryphon is a company that I hope will continue to thrive for a long time.  If you’re having difficulty maintaining a forward trajectory in your business, Gryphon may have just the solutions you are seeking.

Interested in joining the growing network of businesses belonging to Businesses for a Fair Minimum Wage and Pennsylvania Businesses for a Fair Minimum Wage? Click on the links below to sign-up: