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Consumer Confidential: Highest minimum wage, generational income

December 12, 2011 | 11:00 am

Here's your rainy-days-and-Mondays Monday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

--Our friends up north in San Francisco are making history with the first minimum wage to top $10 an hour. Come New Year's Day, the city's hourly wage for its lowest-paid workers will hit $10.24, more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the working wage set by the federal government. San Franciscans passed a proposition in 2003 that requires the city to increase the minimum wage each year, using a formula tied to inflation and the cost of living. And even though some businesses may see this as a burden, they should remember what Henry Ford said when he boosted his employees' wages back in the day: A well-paid worker is simply another customer for his products. Smart. (Associated Press)

--Speaking of having more cash on hand, here's a topical question: Are young people today better off than their parents? At least when it comes to income, the answer depends on gender. Today's young women make $1.17 for every $1 their moms earned back in 1980. Young men, however, are earning 10 cents per dollar less than their fathers did 30 years ago, new research shows. The study, compiled by the nonprofit Young Invincibles and the think tank Demos, looked at wage data for 25- to 34-year-olds in 2010 and compared it with the wages of that same age group in 1980. What they found is that young women are faring slightly better than their mothers did at the beginning of their careers, mainly because of advances for women in the workplace. Meanwhile, young men have fewer opportunities overall, due to the decline of manufacturing, construction and other male-dominated industries. (CNN Money)

-- David Lazarus

Photo: As far as minimum wages go, San Francisco is tops. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images