- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

President Obama will sign an executive order Wednesday raising the minimum wage for all federal contractors, but questions still surround how many workers will benefit from the move and how departments and agencies can comply without budget increases.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez told reporters Wednesday that the order, which will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, will benefit “hundreds of thousands” of workers doing business with the federal government but could not offer a more precise figure.

The order will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015, and each new federal contract thereafter will have to comply with the new wage requirement. With that in mind, Mr. Perez said the number of contractors benefiting will rise over time.

“Some will benefit year one. More will benefit year two. Even more will benefit year three,” he said, but added more calculations are necessary to determine how many workers will be affected.

Also, the labor secretary insisted the order won’t bust budgets even though some federal contractors will be taking home bigger paychecks.

“All federal agencies will be doing this within their existing budgets,” he said, adding that the federal government will reap the benefits of happier, better-paid employees who therefore work harder and are more efficient.

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