Minimum wage increase has both good and bad consequences - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Minimum wage increase has both good and bad consequences

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President Barack Obama made calls to increase the federal minimum wage during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Under his proposal, the federal minimum wage would be increased to $9 an hour from $7.25.

Many people who are working or who have worked these low paying jobs said the news is exciting.

"$1.25 an hour increase is quite a good jump," said Bradley Harris.

Mary Beth Romine said she works two minimum wage jobs to help with her college expenses.

"It honestly would help out a lot, just $2 more or a little bit under $2 more, would definitely make it a little more flexible on what I did with my money and how I budgeted it," she said.

The increase would be a different story for business owners, who would have to budget for the increased rate.

Ted Pile owns Pile Hardware in Charleston.  He said he has had to weather plenty of other minimum wage hikes in the past and make adjustments along the way.

"I know for a lot of small businesses, it's going to mean they're going to have to cut back full time employees to part time," he said.

Most of Pile's 16 employees have been working for him for years.  He said this particular hike will not have a strong impact on his business, but he could have to move some numbers around if he had to hire additional employees.

He said the bottom line is that there's consequences when money is involved.

"Ultimately, this whole thing is going to cost the customers out there more money because the products and services we provide and every other business provides; they are either going to have to raise the price of their services or cut back their employee expense," he said.

The current minimum wage has been in place since 2009.   Any changes to the law would have to go through Congress first.