Minimum wage hike would benefit more than just the lowest earners, experts predict

CINCINNATI (FOX19/CNN) - Amid a growing chorus calling for the federal government to boost the minimum wage, a non-partisan think tank is weighing-in with an analysis suggesting it would benefit more than just those who earn the least.

The Economic Policy Institute says about two million people would benefit indirectly. That's because business owners would likely raise the pay of senior workers who make more than minimum wage, too.

"Our research shows that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 would provide an additional $35 billion in wages over the phase-in period to directly and indirectly affected workers, who are likely to then spend that additional income," EPI said in its report.

The federal government hasn't raised the nationwide minimum wage since 2009. It's currently at $7.25/hour. In 13 states, including Ohio, lawmakers raised the minimum wage on January 1. The minimum wage in Ohio is now $7.95/hour.

Critics and many small business owners say raising the minimum wage can actually hurt hiring because it's an added cost for employers. A daycare owner says that because business isn't booming, she had to take a pay cut when she gave her workers a raise.

EPI cites a study from last year that claims it does not have an effect on hiring.

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