Thousands in Arkansas would benefit from minimum wage increase | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thousands in Arkansas would benefit from minimum wage increase

Posted By on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 6:49 AM

click to enlarge GOVERNING
  • Governing

An increase in the minimum wage is not an abstract economic policy debate, but a subject with real meaning to working people. For example; New government statistics show that 44,000 Arkansas workers are paid at or below the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

What's more, 14,000 of those workers are paid less than the federal minimum wage, which means they have only the protection of the state's $6.25 an hour minimum wage.

The state's minimum wage would produce $250 for a 40-hour work week, or $13,000 for 52 full weeks of work.

The numbers are important as politicians face an Obama administration proposal to increase the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, an idea that seems to be going nowhere.

More important is a proposal to lift the state's minimum wage, in stages, to $8.50 an hour. This would benefit tens of thousands of people, far more than just the 44,000 working at or below the current $7.25 federal minimum. It's become an issue in the race for U.S. Senate. Mark Pryor has endorsed the Give Arkansas a Raise Now campaign for an initiated act to raise the state minimum. His Republican opponent, Rep. Tom Cotton, joins Pryor in opposing the federal wage minimum increase, but has declined so far to take a position on an increase in the state minimum.

Governing magazine notes that low-pay states drive the number of workers paid at the bare minimum of the federal law.

The presence of any state minimum-wage law remains the overriding factor driving the number of employees at or below the federal rate. Of states where the share of workers earning at or below minimum-wage pay exceeded the national average of 4.3 percent, all but four lacked higher state minimum-wage laws last year.

About 4.3 percent of the country's workers are paid at or below the minimum wage. The relevant local comparison:

About 7.4 percent of Tennessee’s hourly workforce took home wages at or less than the federal rate. That share topped all other states, followed by Idaho (7.1 percent), Alabama (6.8 percent) and Arkansas (6.8 percent). Regions without state minimum-wage laws, particularly in the South, tend to employ the greatest concentrations of minimum-wage workers.

UPDATE: Here's an even more detailed resource on what the minimum wage means in Arkansas.

Tags: , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Little Rock housing study finds linkage between respiratory-related hospital stays and property code violations

    People hospitalized for a respiratory-related illness at UAMS were twice as likely to rent a property that at some point has been issued a mold-related violation notice from Little Rock's Code Enforcement Division when compared to a control population adjusted for demographic differences.
    • May 2, 2018
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Winds, race and an open line

    • My power went out at 3:30 am this morning in the midst of one of…

    • on July 21, 2018
  • Re: Winds, race and an open line

    • I don't relish the idea of Trump's head being snapped off by hanging. Treason is…

    • on July 21, 2018
  • Re: Winds, race and an open line

    • Low-energy Drumpf. @NBCNews President Trump has arrived at his New Jersey golf club, marking his…

    • on July 21, 2018

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation