Michigan's hourly minimum wage increases

NILES, Mich. -

The New Year brings new legislation to Michigan, a 40 cent increase per hour for minimum wage workers.

Michigan is one of nineteen states seeing an increase. As of January 1, the state’s hourly minimum increases from $8.50 to $8.90.

Wonderland Cinema in Niles has about 20 employees. Around a dozen are minimum wage part-timers like college student Hannah Bever.

“I think that it’s a positive thing. Even though I’m only part time, I feel like it will still benefit me because I’m a college student. I have to drive from campus and I have to get books so I think the extra money will help me,” said Bever.

The state minimum wage is increasing for the second year in a row under a law passed in 2014 to raise it by a total of 25 percent by 2018.

Full time employees working 40 hours a week will see an extra $800 a year.

Jim Morris owns Jim’s Smokin' Café in Niles and is in the process of opening another small business in town. He currently employs several minimum wage workers and is looking to hire more for his new restaurant.

“It’s necessary, I think people aren’t making enough money but it also has its limitations,” Morris.

While Morris says the planned increases make sense, he fears small businesses like his would suffer from additional increases.

“Well number one I probably wouldn’t be looking into opening up a new place right now, going into a business and not knowing your true cash flow and trying to hire that many people that’s a lot of money going out when you start adding in the other stuff in addition to payroll. It’s a good thing and it needs to be kept a good thing. I know it’s going to go up again in 2018 but it’s not going to crack 10 dollars an hour,” said Morris.

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