Minimum Wage

The Kmart store in Springfield has closed. As a result of the store's closure, 68 jobs will be lost.
Wayne Baker / WYSO

The state of Ohio released local job and unemployment numbers Tuesday, and the news is looking good for Dayton and the state. In December 2014, the statewide unemployment rate dipped to a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2001. The greater Dayton area was down to 4.5 percent, almost two percentage points lower than it was at the end of 2013.

Clarence Stewart works at a Walmart in Cincinnati. He says he was kicked out of the Dayton Walmart for talking to customers about the strike.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Walmart staff blocked the doors Thursday as protesters attempted to enter the Butler Township store with fliers for their Black Friday demonstration.

Around 60 people gathered in the cold outside the Walmart off Miller Lane, demanding Walmart raise wages to $15 an hour. The event started out as your standard protest, with speeches, chants and signs. Willis Blackshear is the Montgomery County recorder.

Minimum wage activists demonstrated in Dayton in December 2013.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Today is October 10, 10/10—and it’s been declared National Minimum Wage Day. $10.10 is the new minimum wage many advocates are calling for. Right now Ohio’s minimum wage is $7.95, and it will automatically go up to $8.10 on January 1, 2015.

Workers march to deliver "strike papers" to Walmart officials. Nov 2013
Jerry Kenney / WYSO

A protest is coming to the Dayton Walmart on York Commons Wednesday as part of a week of protests and employee walkouts at Walmart stores around the country. Walmart workers and supporters of a living wage increase by the retail giant will be joined by State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-28). She believes an across-the-board wage boost would help struggling families.

“We’re talking about a living wage,” says Pillich. “We’re making sure that people at Walmart and other places in Ohio, can earn enough money and get enough work hours to support their families.”

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Chipotle is hiring around the Dayton area—a job fair Thursday in Beavercreek advertised 300 positions coming open this year, and there were 27 postings on the company's site Thursday.

Minimum Wage Goes Up in 2014

Dec 31, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are getting a raise starting in the New Year. The state’s minimum wage will go up ten cents from $7.85 an hour to $7.95 an hour. The automatic boost comes from a policy known as indexing, which Ohio has adopted along with 11 other states. Indexing raises the minimum wage to account for increases to the cost of living.

Jack Temple, a policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project, says the extra ten cents an hour can go a long way.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Protests demanding a raise in the minimum wage have been spreading across the country, and the movement made its way to Dayton for the first time. On Thursday, union-backed groups reported events in over 100 cities; some involved worker walk-outs, but many were protests or demonstrations in front of fast food and retail outlets.

Outside the McDonald’s in downtown Dayton around lunchtime, a small crowd gathered near the road, rallying drivers to honk in support. The protesters’ complaint: Ohio’s minimum wage of $7.85 isn’t enough to actually live on.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

Unemployment numbers are out for August, and Ohio’s rate was right in line with the national rate of 7.3 percent. But while the U.S. unemployment rate went from above 8 percent in August 2012 to 7.3 percent in August 2013, the state numbers actually ticked up slightly from last month and last year.

Ohio's minimum wage is set to increase 30 cents to $7.70 per hour on Jan.1.

The increase is part of a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2006, which says minimum wage will increase each year at the rate of inflation. The liberal think tank Policy Matters Ohio says data shows an estimated 347,000 workers will receive wage increases.

The $7.70 rate applies to workers 16 and older who don't get tips. The wage for tipped employees will be $3.85, up 15 cents, but their total pay cannot be less than $7.70 hourly.