Another Round for New Hampshire's Minimum Wage Debate

Jan 11, 2019

  

Minimum wage laws in the U.S.: Blue areas have higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage, set right now at $7.25.
Credit U.S. Dept. of Labor

This year, about twenty states are raising their minimum wage; the Granite State remains tied to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Several bills in the N.H. legislature, meanwhile, will look again at raising that number. Supporters say this change is long past due, though ideas vary in terms of how much and how fast the wage should rise; opponents warn of unintended negative economic consequences, such as job loss. 

GUESTS:

  • Bruce Berke -  New Hampshire state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. 
  • John Dankosky - Host of NEXT New England, a weekly radio show and podcast about New England, based at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • Dan Feltes - State senator from Concord and co-sponsor of a bill proposing to raise the minimum wage. 
  • Allison Schrager - Writer and columnist with Quartz, a business and economic news site.  Her new column, Tipping Points, launches on Wednesday, Jan. 16.  

Related Reading.

New Hampshire remains an outlier in New England, as surrounding states raise their minimum wage. 

Massachusetts raised its minimum wage to $12 an hour and will rise gradually to $15 by 2023.  The new law presents a bit of a headache to restaurants in part because it also reworks the way they calculate how to pay tipped workers, reports The Boston Globe

From the N.H. Dept. of Employment Security:

  • According to the Current Population Survey, in 2017 there were approx. 2,000 persons paid at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 and approx. 6,000 paid below the federal minimum wage. This data is available here.  
  • The most up to date information on state minimum wage laws are available here.  

A summary of states' minimum wages as of Jan. 2019 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

The Balance reports on the history, the purpose, and the pros and cons of the minimum wage.

A report on unexpected ways raising the minimum wage changes lives. 

As Allison Shrager of Quartz reports Seattle raised its minimum wage to $15 a year, while surrounding counties did not. The results were mixed.  Shrager also writes about Missouri and Arkansas, which voted in November for large increases in their minimum wage.