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UPDATE: Workers react to minimum wage increases

Posted at 1:47 PM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 20:59:09-05

LANSING, Mich. — The start of the new year also marks new wages for some of Michigan's lowest paid employees.

The minimum wage increased by 20 cents Wednesday for all employees across the state. It went from the previous $9.45 to $9.65.

"Hearing that we're getting an increase is definitely exciting," Mathew Chen, who is a server at Bravo in Lansing, said.

Tipped workers will see a slightly smaller increase, however, at 8 cents.

"I'm only getting about $30 a paycheck per week, but now that will probably be bumped up to maybe $40-$50, that'll really help me out," Chen said.

Michigan's hourly rate for tipped employees now stands at $3.67.

Minimum wage is going to continue to increase every year for the next decade. In 2030, workers should expect a $12 hourly rate.

"I just think now that since East Lansing is adding more apartments that are updated, and just more expensive in general, the cost is just going up on average," Chen said.

As a server at Bravos, Chen said on average, he receives about $300 a week on tips, but only if it's a good night and people are generous. Otherwise, the money he makes through wages just helps out during tax time.

"It's mainly just added change. Usually I just use that, taxes, state income, all that. They just take that out," Chen said.

Workers say even a tiny pay increase helps out because everything else is so expensive.

"Overall, everything is just more expensive, the cost of living, just products in general," Chen said.

Although the minimum wage change will take place gradually over time, generally, people are saying the change is good.

"Over time, it will keep on increasing so I'm glad it's happening, even if it's at a slow pace," Rish Heer, a server, said.

Last year, former Governor Rick Snyder signed a law that requires all tipped employees to make at least their minimum wage. Now, the state is focusing on increasing the hourly rate employees are paid.

Michigan isn't the only state to increase their minimum wage. Twenty four states and 48 cities and counties will be doing the same, according to National Employment Law Project.

A full-time employee working at minimum wage in Michigan will now earn $20,072.00 yearly, according to

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