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UPDATE: Ohio Minimum Wage Hike

By: Danielle Staub, Jillian Risberg Email
By: Danielle Staub, Jillian Risberg Email
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UPDATE 12/30/2013 9:08 PM

Minimum wage is increasing again in Ohio to $7.95, but it's not enough to make a difference many want.

"A 10 cent increase on the hour, which is great. The downfall to that is our insurance is going up for medical coverage,” says Amber Deem, who runs the Fruth warehouse in Belpre.

The numbers are significant.

"Some of 'em close to double, some of 'em are tripling for people out there,” Deem says. “So the 10 cent minimum wage increase really isn't going to help any of us much."

That increase will be gone in an instant.

"It’s gonna be absorbed by the price of living basically,” says Fruth cashier Mariah Caltrider. “The price of gas is gonna go up (and) even though we don't have food tax, it's gonna be absorbed by the price of the food."

It seems good on paper, but...

"Anytime that there is a minimum wage increase or anytime there's a wage increase period, the old cost of living goes up. That's just standard protocol so it seems,” Deem says.

Not even breaking even.

"Gas, electricity, water, everything's gonna go up; there's no sense in even bothering and they won't even round it up to eight dollars,” Caltrider says.

In the long run they're going to pay more for health insurance than they're making.

"You know, people are looking at bringing home less than half their paychecks every pay period,” Deem says. “So it's really gonna hurt a lot of people out here."

They all wish they could say they're coming out ahead.

"I’m not gonna see a penny of it basically; it's gonna be just like it is. So I’m gonna struggle no matter what,” Caltrider says.

Ohio is one of 13 states increasing minimum wage on Wednesday. Washington will have the highest wage in the country, at $9.32 an hour.

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UPDATE 12/30/2013 5:00 PM

Ohio's minimum wage is increasing again on January 1.

But the increase is still not enough for some working poor and those with low salaries.

The 10 cent increase takes Ohio's wage to $7.95 an hour.

Many workers won't find that sufficient and will still be forced to rely on taxpayer-funded public assistance programs to make ends meet.

Amber Deem, who runs the warehouse at Fruth in Belpre agrees.

"It's great; the downfall to that is our insurance is going up for medical coverage. Some of them close to double, some of them are tripling for people out there," she says. "So the 10 cent minimum wage increase really isn't going to help any of us much."

Deem says in the long run they're going to have to pay out more for health insurance than they're making so the government is getting everyone where it counts and that's what's really hurting people.


A bit a of bonus for those making minimum wage in Ohio.

The minimum wage in Ohio in increasing January 1st by ten cents.

For waitresses and waiters it's five cents.

But the question is, when the minmum wage increases, will it create a domino effect, positive or negative?

Some say the increase is too small to make a difference.

Others say any increase helps in today's world.

Marietta College Economics Professor Greg Delemeester says according to research, for every ten percent increase in minimum wage, employment may drop at most by three percent.

"When you raise the price of any product people tend to buy less of it, and if you raise the price of labor through a legislative minimum wage, employers will cut back in some way, shape or form on how many workers they hire," says Delemeester.

"As the cost of living continues to rise, we have to meet people where they are, and minimum wage, there are so many people in minimum wage jobs trying to make things happen, they have two or three minimum wage jobs, they need to have some type of benefits, I think it's only right," says Ellen Campbell, Director of Retention and Student Engagement at Marietta College.

Like Campbell, others we talked with say every little bit counts with the introduction of the Afforable Care Act and this minimum wage increase.

Delemeester says both contribute to a rising cost of hiring workers.


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