Ohio minimum wage goes up as new year begins

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CLEVELAND -- About 150,000 minimum wage workers across the state get a pay raise starting today.

Ohio's new minimum is $8.30 an hour, up from $8.15 last year.

"Not enough," says Leslie Penman of Cleveland.

Penman, a mechanical engineer, says he once worked minimum wage jobs after he got out of the Marine Corps.

"It's very difficult to support a family, you barely can support yourself, on minimum wage," he says.

In 2006, Ohio voters approved a measure that basically ties the minimum wage each year to inflation.

"In theory, that's a good idea," says Nick Collins.

But Collins says, as wages go higher, employers may be more tempted to try and replace people with automation and robots.

"It's a give and take, it depends what side you're on," he says, "so would you rather have the lower wage and have a job, or vice versa?"

Penman says the best employers he's worked for in Cleveland pay their people well.

"We rarely hire people at the minimum wage," he says. "We hire them according to their skill level. You take care of people, they will take care of you, and take care of your business."

For workers who are paid in part with tips, such as servers in a restaurant, the minimum wage is increasing in Ohio from $4.08 an hour to $4.15 an hour.

Ohio is one of 18 states nationwide where the minimum wage is going up with the new year.