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Biden increases contractors’ minimum wage

President Joe Biden at the White House Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci (file)

Biden increases contractors’ minimum wage

Hundreds of thousands of federal contractors could get a raise by next March. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for qualifying workers, including cleaning, childcare, maintenance, cooking, and repair contractors. The current minimum is $10.95 per hour. The new wage would increase each year to reflect inflation.

Will this burden taxpayers? Administration officials said the higher wages would help employers retain workers and make them more productive, thus offsetting taxpayer costs. But increasing the minimum wage can also lead to a shortage of entry-level jobs. Biden’s March coronavirus relief bill included a provision to raise the country’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, but a Senate parliamentarian ruled Democrats couldn’t include that provision in the package.

Dig deeper: Read my report in Compassion on the unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage.

Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas.



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Gov't workers have been getting raises when many across the country have not. People worry about keeping their jobs. They don't dare ask for a raise. Gov't jobs were more about stability, health insurance, vacation days, etc. Many who are not gov't workers are afraid to go on vacation. They are afraid that they won't have a job when they return. This has been going on since the economy tanked the first time. And here we are again with too many people applying for the same jobs. We know a person who worked hard to get ahead. Now she is out because of COVID and will probably never see that kind of pay again. They prefer to hire people for lower pay, and why not, because they can.


What World reader WANTS to work for the same wages they earned 12 years ago? Who among us would work for an employer refused to grant us a pay raise in 12 years?
Of course this will cost us taxpayers something. But what does it say about us that we would refuses to give those who work for us, all of us, any kind of pay raise for 12 whole years? Even at $15/hr, a full-time worker would earn only about $30k/yr. How many World readers would be able to support a family on just that?
I think the argument that this will kill entry-level jobs is misapplied. This isn't a universal minimum wage increase. It applies only to certain federal workers on federal contracts. Jobs flipping hamburgers will still exist at lower wages.

My Two Cents

How could it NOT burden taxpayers? Where does Uncle Joe think federal wages comes from? Contractors will raise their bids to cover the cost for workers.