Texas Workforce Solutions is providing last minute reminders to employers. For a week Kristy Castle-Royal has been visiting Nacogdoches businesses with employee rights posters. She starts the visit saying, " I'm here today to tell you about the minimum wage increase that's taking place on July 24th."
The wage increase comes as no surprise. Neither do the reactions. Royal said, " Some gripe about it, but I haven't had that big of a shocker because they were aware. " Other employers support the increase, even though it won't affect them directly. A glass company manager, Rachel Upchurch said, " We're gonna have business as usual as far as minimum wage because we pay well over minimum wage. Of course, we don't expect minimum work, so we don't pay minimum wage. "
Minimum wage workers may not like that generalization. The raise builds morale for Susan Floyd, a waitress at Mr. Wills Restaurant. In between waiting tables she said, " Just helps knowing you make a little bit more when you work. Makes you want to work harder. " Paula Hicks, a single mom of three has also held down minimum wage jobs. " You know with minimum wage you got to work every hour you can work. You stay at work. You don't get to spend enough time with your kids. "
The minimum wage increases are designed to help the workforce catch up with a cost of living that rose 26% percent since the last minimum wage increase a decade ago. Next year the hourly minimum wage will go to $6.55. Consumers may not notice the change in the minimum wage increases for another three years. That's when it goes up to $7.25. But Texas Workforce Solutions site manager Melony Brown is expecting some layoffs now. She's concerned some employers may be reluctant to meet the requirements. " Right now we're anticipating that some of the business that can absorb that expense will have fewer staff to serve the customers that are coming into their business, " said Brown.