The Talon

Minimum Wage Increase

Andrea Martinez, Writer

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More than half of the U.S is affected by minimum wage. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25, states are able to decide their own minimum wage if they wish to go higher. Arkansas has their minimum wage at $8.50. It seems that since the establishment of minimum wage in 1938, it has only been increasing. 18 states are opting to increase and if they aren’t already, making it to more than $10 in 2018.

Below are the 18 states who plan to increase their minimum wage to $10 or more.

  1. Alaska- $9.84
  2. Arizona- $10.50
  3. California- $11
  4. Colorado- $10.20
  5. Florida- $8.25
  6. Hawaii- $10.10
  7. Maine- $10
  8. Michigan- $9.25
  9. Minnesota- $9.65
  10. Missouri- $7.85
  11. Montana- $8.30
  12. New Jersey- $8.60
  13. New York- $10.40
  14. Ohio- $8.30
  15. Rhode Island- $10.10
  16. South Dakota- $8.85
  17. Vermont- $10.50
  18. Washington- $11.50

Deciding what the minimum wage is, either country or state, involves factors. The four factors are the needs of workers and their families, the capacity to pay, comparable wages and income, and requirements of economic and social development. This process is gone through by the Department of Labor. While the minimum wage applies to most employees, jobs with tipped employees, student workers, and etc. are given their own minimum wage.

While some are for an increase in minimum wage, others are not.

Statements in support to minimum wage increase:

  • The minimum wage hasn’t kept up with inflation. As a result, the pay of many workers, particularly those with families of three or more people, are now well below the poverty level.
  • Studies show graduated increases in the minimum wage have a low impact on unemployment.
  • Government expenses for social programs aimed at the poor would potentially be reduced. This might result in slightly lower taxes for other Americans.

Statements in opposition to minimum wage increase:

  • Raises the incentive for companies to outsource labor to countries where minimum wage rates are lower.
  • Prices might be increased to offset higher labor costs.
  • Wages for higher paid workers might be suppressed, and salary increases might be lower for those not impacted by a higher minimum wage

Although Arkansas’ minimum wage is $8.50, companies are free to decide their own minimum wage. Target Corporation is an example of this by increasing their starting pay in October of last year from $10 to $11 an hour. Walmart, along with others, followed in Target’s footsteps. Target also announced that by the year 2020, the starting pay given to their employees will be $15 an hour.

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Minimum Wage Increase