Earlier this week, the city of Birmingham, AL became the first city in the Deep South to enact a local minimum wage. The Birmingham minimum wage is now on track to increase from the federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) to $8.50 an hour in July 2016 and to $10.10 an hour in July 2017. According to NELP (National Employment Law Project), an estimated 40,000 workers and their families – 19% of the city’s population – could be affected by the increase.
Many local business support the raise, including Danny Winter, owner and operator of two local restaurants, who says that “the $7.25 minimum wage that’s been in effect since 2009 is bad for business and bad for Birmingham. If Birmingham had a $10.10 minimum wage, it would boost the consumer spending that businesses depend on”.
The increase shows the far-reaching effects of the Raise the Wage movement. Currently, the Pennsylvania minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour – the same as the federal minimum wage – but if the Raise the Wage movement continues growing, that could soon change.