D.C.

D.C. minimum wage jumps to $9.50, will continue to climb until 2016

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(WJLA) - The ever-changing H Street was busy on Tuesday. One of the bustling shops in Northeast is the newly opened H Street Market, where George Ayale is the General Manager.

"Minimum wage, it should be raised in some way, somehow," he says.

Starting Tuesday in D.C., workers paid minimum wage will make more money, as it jumps from $8.25 to $9.50 an hour.

The city’s plan, says Ayale, benefits both the worker and employee:

"if workers have a problem at home and they bring that to the work area, it affects..."

He adds that business owners should want to pay their employees more:

"We have to share the problem. I mean the problem is not only for the employee, the problem is also for the business."

But the situation is still an ongoing argument for some, as there is still debate regarding the effects an increase in minimum wage has on local economies. James Sherk at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, says:

"Most studies find that, when the minimum wage goes up, employment goes down. A higher minimum wage prices many unskilled and inexperienced workers out of the job market."

But city leaders think the wage should continue to climb, and for the next two years, the minimum wage will continue to go up by a dollar, which means that by 2016, the minimum wage here in D.C. will be $11.50.

"I think it's a great thing,” says Jonathan Spencer, who does retail at a nearby clothing and shoe store. He’s now making minimum wage and can’t wait to get his next paycheck.

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