SANTA MARIA - Raising the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour is welcome news on Central Coast college campuses where every dollar counts.
"I think it should, its better for the students and families", says Allan Hancock College student Tatiana Zarate.
"Lets just say $10 an hour, now that would help a lot more", adds AHC student-athlete Merchad Dillon.
"Right now with minimum wage at $8, everything is going up, its only fair that the minimum wage goes up too", says AHC student Daniel Pena.
"McDonald's I don't care", says AHC student-athlete Chris Blakeney, "9 dollars an hour would mostly motivate me to go out and find a job."
Not everyone on campus agrees.
"It seems helpful but I think in the end it probably hurts the employers more", says AHC student John Stockdale, "which means in the end it would result in a net loss of jobs possibly."
We got the same reaction from employers we spoke with.
"In this market we're in and the recession we're dealing with, we'd probably have to eliminate staff in order to make it work", says John Reinacher, General Manager of the Historic Santa Maria Inn which employs dozens of hourly workers.
Hospitality is among industries likely to be hurt the most by hiking the minimum wage, as well as retail and food service.
Some well known fast-food and retail companies pride themselves in offering well over minimum wage.
But bumping it to nine bucks an hour would create another economic challenge for many employers already struggling to turn a profit.
"We'd have to take some cost-cutting measures because we can't always pass it on to the customer", Reinacher says.
The legal minimum wage in California is $8 an hour for most employees.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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