Minn. minimum wage increases to $9 an hour

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, August 4, 2015

On Saturday, over 288,000 workers earned a $1 raise or more to meet the state’s new $9 minimum wage.

Minnesota has completed its second minimum wage raise out of three as part of legislation passed in 2014.

The state has raised the large employer’s original $6.15 minimum wage. In August 2014, the minimum wage was raised to $8. This year the wages were raised another dollar and are expected to raise again by 50 cents in August 2016.

Email newsletter signup

Once the wages meet $9.50, an estimated $472 million will be added onto annual earnings and into the pockets of Minnesotan workers. Economists explained that these wage raises will affect small businesses due to the increase and availability of money for customers to purchase more basic necessities more frequently. An expected benefit from the growing businesses has been an overall growing state economy.

These new stipend changes aim to increase overall yearly salaries to help lower present poverty within Minnesota and prevent any future money deficiency.

“Minnesotans who work full-time should be able to earn enough money to lift their families out of poverty and achieve the American dream,” Gov. Mark Dayton said. “Raising the minimum wage will improve the lives of more than 287,000 hard-working Minnesotans. I thank the Legislature for recognizing the need to make work pay in Minnesota.”

Once all three raises are completed, the lowest-wage earners will gain around $6,970 in annual pay.

“It puts more money into their pockets,” said Albert Lea Parks and Recreation Director Jay Hutchinson, on behalf of his city department’s minimum wage earners. “It just gave them a raise for saving to go to college, making ends meet.”

He estimated around 20 to 30 people were affected by the raise in his department.