Modest, gradual minimum wage hike set to launch

(AP Photo/Victoria Arocho, FILE)
(AP Photo/Victoria Arocho, FILE)

DETROIT (AP) — An increase in Michigan’s minimum wage is set to launch, and with it comes a test of whether the gradual rise will help workers, harm businesses or neither.

The first bump comes Monday, when the wage moves up from $7.40 an hour to $8.15. The 25 percent overall raise comes in annual increments, capping at $9.25 in 2018.

It directly affects about 4 percent of the state’s roughly 2.5 million hourly workers who earn the minimum wage or lower. It could help some who make more since employers likely will adjust their pay scales.

Because of its modest, slow increase and the small number of people making the minimum wage, Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard believes it will help some workers but not “shake the overall economy.”

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