Employers raise wages as job market heats up

Federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 11 years

Employees are fighting for the minimum wage to be raised to $15.
Employees are fighting for the minimum wage to be raised to $15.

DETROIT – The fight for a $15 minimum wage is continuing.

With the current shortage in labor, businesses are trying to bring workers in with wages that start at $15-17 per hour, with added bonuses and perks.

Marcia Rabideau is the operations manager for a string of Arby’s restaurants. She said in June, she was looking for 100 employees and in July, she was looking for 200. She said she can’t guarantee how long her starting wages will stay at the current level and the time for employees to get them is now. Rabideau said August and September will change the job market again as people start to go back to school and unemployment benefits start to dwindle.

Michael Minarcik, who owns a string of McDonald’s restaurants in Macomb County said $15 per hour is his new normal moving forward.

Donald Grimes, a University of Michigan economics researcher, said people should find a job now instead of waiting for something better to come along in the fall. The reasoning is that workers have strong bargaining power now and should be able to find something attractive.

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About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.