Experts Weigh-In On Minimum Wage Raise Impact

Minimum Wage

BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) — In less than a week, the minimum wage in Massachusetts goes up by a dollar an hour.

Here's what the raise in wages is expected to have.

According to an analysis by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, the minimum wage increase is expected to affect about 20-percent of workforce including 40 percent of retail workers and almost 70-percent of food service workers.

They report that more than 660,000 workers in the Commonwealth will benefit when the minimum wage climbs to $12 dollars an hour on January 1.

The increase is one phase of a multi-tiered wage hike that will eventually boost the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour in January of 2023.

Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts says with other recent wage hikes this is what he called 'uncharted' territory.

However, Jeremy Thompson, a senior policy analyst with Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center which crunched the numbers and despite concerns about prices going up along with wages Thompson says that not as big a worry as some make it out to be. 

There are also worries that prices may rise to offset the higher wages. Thompson says if they go up, it would be just fractionally.

And then there are those who are above minimum wage now — Hurst has concerns about those workers too.

Thompson though believes those currently above the minimum will also see a benefit

Listen below to an extended interview with Jeremy Thompson with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and Jon Hurst with the Retailers Association of Massachusetts

WBZ NewsRadio’s Ben Parker (@RadioBenParker) reports.

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