SC minimum wage increase could impact economy - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

SC minimum wage increase could impact economy

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NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WFXG) -

Will Lamb says building barbeque sandwiches and ringing up orders pays the bills at home, but he wouldn't mind leaving the BBQ Barn with a little extra cash in his pockets.
 
"I would like it a lot better," Lamb said. "It would help me out with payments and bills and all that, and also with school."
 
Fast food servers and janitors are among the more than 40,000 employees who would earn an extra $70 a week before taxes if President Obama's push for a minimum wage increase happens.
 
"Raise the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour!" said President Obama in his State of the Union address earlier this week.
 
Right now, South Carolina's minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. But some economists say the increase could backfire on businesses and their customers.
 
"Their profit margin is either going to be decreased or they're gonna have to raise their prices if they want to maintain level," said Will Williams, director of the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken.
 
While a higher minimum wage could boost income of many low-paid employees, business owners say it will affect the number of workers they can have staffed.
 
"If the minimum wage were raised to a point where we're not able to afford to pay it, then of course we'd have to figure out a way to go to less employees," said John Kitchings, CEO of First Clas Motors.
 
Owner of First Class Motors John Kitchings says his employees are already making above the minimum wage. But for he says he'd have to also raise his productivity level, if the minimum wage is pushed to what he pays his employees now. But for employees like Lamb, more money, is all that's on his mind.

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