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Majority of employers say raise the minimum wage

Union-backed labor groups and large retail and fast food chains have publicly battled over low wages and working conditions over the last two years. During the well-funded campaigns on both sides, there’s been a wide-ranging debate in the U.S. over whether a payment floor is either high enough or even should be in place at all.

A new poll of HR and hiring managers across the country suggests that approximately 83 percent not only think there should be a minimum wage, but say it should be higher than it is now. The survey of 2,188 full-time managers by Harris HRS -0.75% Poll for Careerbuilder.com showed that 55 percent thought that federal minimum wage should be $10 or more per hour.

Only 7 percent thought that a $15 an hour figure was fitting. That number is the one that labor groups have been demanding, in part because short work weeks can mean poverty wages even at higher hourly rates like $10. Seattle passed a $15 per hour minimum wage earlier this year. San Francisco will vote on a $15 an hour figure in November. There are also moves to bring the $15 per hour minimum to other cities, such as Bellevue, Washington and Oakland, California.

Of the poll respondents, another 19 percent thought that minimum wage should be between $11 and $14 per hour, while 29 percent said $10 and another 29 percent thought it should range between $8 and $9. Eight percent of the managers wanted the federal minimum wage to remain at $7.25 an hour, while 9 percent didn’t want a set minimum wage.

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