Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Arkansas Increases Minimum Wage

When Arkansas enacted legislation recently increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.25 per hour, it seemed everyone I talked with had an opinion of the benefits or the negative repercussions of such a move.

I’m going to pass along some of the comments, but first some facts:

Some of our neighboring states, namely Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, have done nothing to increase the minimum wage in their states above the Federal minimum of $5.15. Other neighbors – Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi - don’t even have a minimum wage law. Kansas is the only state below the Federal minimum – a miniscule $2.65.

About half the states have minimum wage rates the same as the Federal rate. The state of Washington is currently the highest at $7.63 and that amount will increase periodically because it is pegged to inflation. Most of California is set at $6.75 but in the San Francisco area, it is $8.50. Minnesota is $6.15, Illinois $6.50, Massachusetts and New York are $6.75, and Oregon $7.50. The other states have rates between Washington’s and the Federal rate of $5.15.

Now for a sampling of the conflicting comments:

“Increasing the minimum wage will increase inflation and unemployment.”

“This will help the poorest paid workers in our state.”

“This will help the economy by giving workers more disposable income.”

“It will be harder for young people to find a job.”

Arkansas’ $1.10 increase becomes effective October 1, 2006. Only time will prove the whether the effects of this increase are beneficial or detrimental.

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