Saturday, February 10, 2007

Arizona minimum wage increase leads to job cuts and reduced hours

In November, Arizonans voted to increase the state minimum wage from $5.15/hour to $6.75/hour, and there is now some anecdotal evidence of job loss for teen workers in South and Central Phoenix.

Pepi's Pizza in South Phoenix is laying off three of its 25 workers and Mary Coyle's Ice Cream Parlor has cut back on hours and not replaced two workers who quit (despite the fact that its owner, Tom Kelly, voted for the increase). Kelly notes that he also increased the wages of those who were already making above minimum wage, with the net effect being an additional $2,000/month in expenses.

The Arizona Republic article notes that the majority of the state's 124,067 workers aged 16-19 already made well above minimum wage before the change, 30.1% of workers making minimum wage fall in that age range, and 30.4% of minimum wage workers live with a parent or parents.

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