MOUNT VERNON — Employees earning minimum wage will find a little bit more money in their paychecks in 2012. This announcement comes from the Ohio Department of Commerce as the state’s minimum wage increased from $7.40 to $7.70 per hour on Sunday. For employees earning tips, the minimum wage will increase from $3.70 to $3.85 per hour.
This increase will apply to employers who gross more than $283,000 per year. Ohio’s minimum wage currently applies to those who gross over $271,000 per year. For those employers grossing less than $283,000, and for 14- and 15-year-old employees, the state minimum wage is at $7.25 per hour which is equivalent to the federal minimum wage.
Although a little more income is usually a very welcome thing, it could be a little bit of a concern for those trying to qualify for certain benefits. This was addressed recently by Matthew Kurtz, director of Knox County Jobs & Family Services. “The minimum wage is far below the level of poverty. It should not force any of our folks out because it’s still below that 100 percent level,” said Kurtz.
His one concern is a situation where there are two working parents in the house which might push them above the level of qualification. “There may be a couple families that are right on the line, but I really don’t see it impacting very many,” said Kurtz. The 30-cent raise would amount to an increase of $624 in gross wages annually.