In Washington a proposal to raise the minimum wage failed. The increase would have raised the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour by 2009. The no vote is not sitting well with some folks in East Texas.
Eric Acevado is out of work. He's been looking for a job for three months now to support his child, but his search has been difficult. "It's really not that good. It's pretty bad. It ain't easy," says Acevedo.
Eric says there are many jobs available in East Texas, but the jobs he's finding only pay minimum wage. "I don't think I would be able to make it. It would be like being unemployed like right now," says Acevedo.
Many East Texans come to Workforce Solutions only to find a lot of their jobs pay minimum wage. "Everybody has different backgrounds and skills but yes they will start out at $5.15 an hour and they go all the way to $20 an hour," says John Bunn.
Bunn agrees minimum wage is too low, but he encourages employees to make the best of a difficult situation so they can eventually move up the wage scale. "It's not enough to sustain a family. So I can identify with it. I know it's a struggle when you are making minimum wage, but hopefully it's a step," says Bunn.
Accepting a minimum wage job may be a step to a better future and with congress voting down a minimum wage increase, it will continue to be the only option some workers have. "Minimum wage ain't that much the way gas is now. People can't even get to work. It ain't easy," says Acevedo.