$15 minimum wage gaining traction in communities

22News spoke with an economist about what this could do.

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)-  Minimum wage workers are making a dollar more than they did last year, but some communities are considering more.

The compensation issue has gained traction across the country, and it’s already started at some local businesses in western Massachusetts.  The Haymarket Cafe in Northampton gained national recognition paying it’s workers a $15 minimum wage.

Massachusetts raised their minimum wage up at the beginning of this year from $9 to $10 per hour, and it will cap off when it is raised to $11 at the beginning of 2017.

But there are some city’s like Seattle, where the mayor has signed an ordinance for a $15 per hour minimum wage to cover the high costs of city living. Boston‘s Mayor Marty Walsh announced in his state of the city address on Tuesday that he also plans to study the idea for the $15 minimum.

Economics Professor John Rogers said, “It’s an idea that violates some of the basic principles of supply and demand,” and $5 more would force employers to react. “The productivity isn’t there to support a $15 per hour minimum wage. So you’re going to exclude a lot of people from the labor market. People who need the opportunity to get some experience and get into the labor market and move up to the high levels of pay because they’re more productive.”

Governor Baker said he is a firm believer in local communities working on their own terms when asked about Mayor Walsh’s announcement to consider a $15 minimum wage.

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