Depending on your financial situation — and your opinion of things like business, the welfare system and poverty — July is either a good or a bad month for Americans who make minimum wage.
On July 24, the federal minimum wage will increase from $5.85 to $6.55 per hour in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It will increase again on 7.25 per hour next July.
That won't affect Vermonters, considering the state minimum wage is $7.68. Vermont, according to the federal Wage and Hour Division, is one of about half of U.S. states with minimum wages above the federal minimum. A report released today by the Progressive States Network predicts that Vermont's projected minimum wage in 2011 will be $8.39 — sandwiched right in between Oregon and Illinois.
Based on figures from Vermont's Joint Fiscal Office, Burlington's Peace and Justice Center reports that a "livable wage" in 2008 was $14.54 for a single person with no kids. For a parent with two kids and a working partner? $17.87 A single parent with two kids? $26.10.
Which is another way of saying: Despite Vermont's big-P Progressive politics, the Green Mountains are no San Francisco. That's where the minimum wage was raised in January to $9.36 from $9.14.