Biden calls for hike in US minimum wage

US Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (centre) and Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti (left) join an employee who helped Perez make a milkshake in Washington on March 21, 2014 to promote raising the federal minimum wageUS Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday called for Americans to back President Barack Obama’s push to raise the federal minimum wage, intensifying debate ahead of mid-term congressional elections in November. Obama unveiled a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (7.35 euros) an hour in his State of the Union address in January as he set about closing income disparity — an increasingly important theme in US politics. But rival Republicans have long argued that raising the minimum wage would hurt the economy and employment because it would prompt small businesses to tighten belts and lay off some workers. “But right now a worker earning the federal minimum wage makes about $14,500 a year.

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