By and  on August 4, 2006

WASHINGTON - This week brought some tough news for the American worker, with the Senate voting down a bill that would have raised the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years and the Labor Department reporting that unemployment had risen in July.

Within the fashion industry, apparel and textile firms shed a seasonally adjusted 3,200 jobs in July compared to June, while department stores also reduced payrolls, but specialty stores added workers, the Labor Department reported.

Low-level workers were also handed a bitter pill last week. The Senate voted 56 to 42 late Thursday night to knock down a legislative package that would have raised the minimum wage to $7.25 from $5.15 an hour in a three-year phase-in.

For complete coverage, see Monday's issue of WWD.

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