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Raising the minimum wage up for debate

6:50 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida pays above the federal minimum wage by fifty cents, but President Obama is proposing to raise the minimum gradually over the next two years to $9 an hour.

"It is still low ... but $9 is better than $7. Do need more to survive," said Jacob Althiser, who was doing some handyman work in Murray Hill on Wednesday.

The 28 year-old single man says working for the minimum is impossible to make ends meet.

"You cannot survive on that," he said.

Across Florida, it is estimated that more than 200,000 work for minimum pay. This year, those workers in Florida got a 12 cent bump in pay.

Susie Bateh has been in the restaurant business with Joseph's Pizza for 30 years and said in her line of work, the state wage is usually above the minimum.

"We find better employees or people who want to work hard," said Bateh, who noted entry jobs in her restaurant start between $8-9 an hour. 

The National Federation of Independent Business in a news release called the President's proposal a "job killer."

A government mandate to raise the minimum wage the release read would deny low skilled workers the opportunity to get a job and get "on the job" training.

The federal minimum wage in 2000 was $5.15 an hour with the wage jumping to $7.25 this year.

First Coast News

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