Money Minute: Some Workers Finally Seeing Wage Increases

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A rare bright spot in the job market. The job market has remained sluggish, even as other parts of the economy have picked up. But now the Federal Reserve says demand is rising for certain workers. It says companies in several regions across the country are having trouble filling positions for skilled workers and upper-management level jobs. As a result, information technology workers, engineers and some skilled laborers are starting to see salary increases.

Amazon.com (AMZN) appears set to join the smartphone wars. The company says it will unveil a new device on June 18. It doesn't give any specifics, but drops all sorts of clues. Reports say it could include a 3-D interface and a screen that tracks the eye movement of users. This would be Amazon's second venture into hardware this year. In April it introduced a TV set-top box named Fire.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 15 points on Wednesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 3 points, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 17 points. The S&P has set record highs six times in the past two weeks, including Wednesday, but in that time it's up less than 30 points, or just 1.5 percent.

We often report on the prognostications of economists at big Wall Street firms about the prospects for economic growth. Now they're weighing in on the World Cup, which kicks off next week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs (GS) has used a mathematical formula to determine that the host country, Brazil, will walk away with the title. But ING (ING) has used a statistical model based on the market value of each team's players. According to its calculations, Spain comes out on top, followed by Germany and then Brazil. The U.S. is ranked 25th by ING out of the 32 teams in the tournament.

And one more note from the business of sports. Chicago radio station WGN is reportedly set to end its broadcast of Cubs game at the end of this season, after 90 years of handling the play-by-play.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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teaparty2implode

Twenty five Domino's employees who were fired for calling out what they described as illegal labor conditions have been given their jobs back, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday.

The delivery workers, who were employed by a franchise in New York City, were let go after complaining that they were still being paid the "tipped wage" of $5.65 per hour even though they were performing tasks, like kitchen cleaning, that should qualify them for the state's minimum wage of $7.25.

The workers then began a four-day protest alongside community members that quickly led to Schneiderman brokering an agreement between the workers and the owners of the franchise. (A copy of the agreement can be found here.)

"There’s no excuse for companies like Domino’s not following the law and there’s no reason why its workers should be forced to work off the clock or for less than minimum wage,” Jonathan Westin, Executive Director of New York Communities for Change, a social justice organization, said in a press release.

Domino's declined to comment to The Huffington Post, saying that the store is an independently-owned and operated franchise and that they had no role in the agreement.

Nevertheless, the news represents a small victory for fast food workers who have made a national push to raise their wages and improve work conditions. According to data from the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy organization, Domino's Pizza workers often can't survive on their wages alone and are forced to sign up for various public assistance programs.

Domino's alone indirectly costs taxpayers $126 million per year as a result.

"This shows that not only will our community and elected officials stand up for those treated unfairly, but that we will see the fight through until justice is served," said NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez in the press release.

The workers will be back on the job by Sunday at the latest.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/13/dominos-workers-wages_n_4440029.html

June 05 2014 at 5:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
skcarcomed_01

You know you've posted the truth when an Obamite with 102 different screen names rates your comments down. LOL.

June 05 2014 at 4:34 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
skcarcomed_01

rick.warner1
The CEO made $9.5 million last year. I would be happy making just a million a year.

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You'd be happy getting an increase in your welfare check. simp.

June 05 2014 at 4:31 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to skcarcomed_01's comment
teaparty2implode

Your assuming that other people collect welfare ?

June 05 2014 at 4:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
skcarcomed_01

LMAO what an Obamite. Linus the minus. LOL

June 05 2014 at 4:30 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
skcarcomed_01

teaparty2unemployedObamite

June 05 2014 at 4:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to skcarcomed_01's comment
teaparty2implode

You have no proof that I'm unemployed DF.

June 05 2014 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to teaparty2implode's comment
teaparty2implode

The majority of Americans support a raise in the minimum wage. That is a fact DF.

June 05 2014 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
skcarcomed_01

teaparty2implode
The TPGOP three ring circus is coming back in 2016. Herman Cain said he might run again in 2016. Bring back Michele Whackmann and Rick Perry how I enjoyed seeing them make complete fools of themselves.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

You, Obama, Reid and Pelosi stand at the head of the class when it comes to making fools of yourselves. How's the job hunt going?

June 05 2014 at 4:27 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to skcarcomed_01's comment
teaparty2implode

The GOP tops the list. GOP = GOOFY ODD PEOPLE

June 05 2014 at 4:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
teaparty2implode

McDonald's CEO: 'We Will Support' A Minimum Wage Hike

McDonald's might finally have figured out that paying its low-wage workers more would actually be a good thing for McDonald's.

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson recently suggested his company would support a bill, proposed by President Barack Obama, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. Such a wage hike likely wouldn't satisfy his workers, some of whom recently stormed the company's Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters demanding $15 an hour. But it would be a noticeable shift in attitude for the world's biggest restaurant chain, which has so far been neutral as the debate about higher wages has roiled around it.

"You know, our franchisees look at me when I say this and they start to worry: 'Don, don't you say it. Don't you say we support $10.10,'" Thompson said during a little-noticed talk at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management last month, according to a Chicago Tribune report. "I will tell you we will support legislation that moves forward."

Thompson, who made $9.5 million last year, has been on the defensive about worker pay since at least last July, when the news media discovered McDonald's had a financial-advice website for its employees (no longer available) recommending they get second jobs and not turn on their heat.

mcdonalds protests

Hundreds of fast-food workers and activists protesting at McDonald's Oak Brook, Illinois, corporate campus last month.

Thompson has insisted that his company pays more than minimum wage. And various estimates put the median McDonald's worker's wage at between $8 and $9 an hour.

But even at $9 an hour, which amounts to about $19,000 per year, the typical McDonald's worker would have to work two months just to make what Thompson makes in one hour (about $3,200, assuming he works 60 hours per week and 50 weeks per year).

This is Ground Zero of the income inequality debate. Soaring CEO pay plus stagnant wages -- the federal minimum wage should really be $22 an hour, adjusting for productivity gains and inflation -- in an economy creating mainly low-paying jobs, equals rising inequality.

Those on the conservative side of the debate complain that raising the minimum wage will cause companies to lay off workers and/or jack up prices, hurting the economy. Thompson shot holes in that argument, at least as it concerns a raise to $10.10 an hour.

"McDonald's will be fine," he reportedly told Northwestern. "We'll manage through whatever the additional cost implications are."

In fact, McDonald's might do better than just "manage" under a higher minimum wage. As Joe Cahill of Crain's Chicago Business recently pointed out, Thompson has bemoaned the effects of poorer customers not having enough money to buy stuff. A national minimum-wage hike could put more money in the pockets of low-wage workers across the country, meaning more money for people to spend at McDonald's.

June 05 2014 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to teaparty2implode's comment
skcarcomed_01

sey.pwl
I will be running along. In about a half an hour. Meeting up with some friends for lunch. Sushi.

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LMAO. You'll be pretending to do that Skipperooooooooooooooooooo.

June 05 2014 at 2:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to skcarcomed_01's comment
skcarcomed_01

The guys a tool. He also thinks this is a dating site to pick up guys.

June 05 2014 at 4:32 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
skcarcomed_01

sey.pwl
I'm not whining about a thing.

I honestly don't have a thing in life to complain about
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Skipper you're such a pathetic whiny crybaby .

June 05 2014 at 2:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
elendil3136

The only people I see getting pay raises are pro athletes, and college football coaches. I myself haven't had a pay raise in seven years. Middle class pay has been stagnated for ten years or more. Wall Street is crying that retailers are not growing sales. Gee, I wonder why that is?

June 05 2014 at 2:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply