Lowest-Rate Workers Get Labor Day Raise

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WASHINGTON: On the day no one is supposed to work, America got a raise. The final 40 cents of the latest minimum-wage increase kicked in on Labor Day, with Labor Secretary Alexis Herman bragging that the rising pay scale is not drowning the nation in unemployment as big business had warned it would.

Herman noted in a holiday weekend address that even though businesses were forced to swallow the first stage of the minimum wage increase a 50-cent boost last October, the economy is "in better shape than in many, many years." America's lowliest workers are now making $5.15, and unemployment is at a 24-year low. Conveniently, most CEOs also were off enjoying a long weekend, so nobody was around to rebut her.