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In Alabama Higher Minimum Wage Benefits Would be Significant and Many

Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 per hour would create 1,800 net new jobs in Alabama and give nearly half a million Alabamians a raise, according to a study released Tuesday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonprofit policy research organization based in Washington, D.C.

The wage increase would boost economic growth and help millions of low-income workers still struggling in the Great Recession’s aftermath.

The report analyzes the effects of federal legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. The measures would increase the minimum wage in three 85-cent increments until it reached $9.80 per hour in July 2014.

The bills also would increase the tipped minimum wage for restaurant servers and other workers, which has been $2.13 per hour since 1996, in 85-cent increments until it reached 70 percent of the regular minimum wage. The amounts then would be indexed to inflation.

More than 28 million Americans would receive a total of almost $40 billion in higher wages if the increase becomes law, the report estimates. In Alabama, more than 492,000 people would enjoy $741 million in additional wages. The average annual wage increase would be $660.

The increases would go both to workers making minimum wage and to people with wages between the current minimum wage and the proposed new level. A higher minimum wage would benefit workers across all demographic groups, not just teenagers working part-time summer jobs. Almost nine in 10 Alabamians who would benefit are age 20 or older, the study finds, and 57.3 percent are women.

“A minimum wage increase would be good for low-income Alabamians and good for our economy,” ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said. “It would make a real difference for our neighbors who are struggling the most in these difficult times, and it would create jobs by prompting hundreds of millions of dollars of new retail spending.”

The full EPI report, “How Raising the Federal Minimum Wage Would Help Working Families and Give the Economy a Boost,” is available here. State-level estimates of the proposed increase’s effects are available here.

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project is a nonprofit statewide coalition of 150 congregations and organizations promoting public policies to improve the lives of low-income Alabamians. 

8 Responses to "In Alabama Higher Minimum Wage Benefits Would be Significant and Many"

  1. Annoynomous  December 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I think it’s a great idea it’s not just about everything else going up some people can’t afford bills. I struggle every week of every month and I don’t even have kids.

  2. Felisha  December 28, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Yes minimum wage should go up in Alabama. It’s too many people out here working their heart out just to try n support their family. Once they pay their bills most of the time you don’t have money leftover to nothing with your family. So, it’s like we’re living paycheck to paycheck. So, if this was to go into effect so many people wouldn’t be getting underpaid. 7.25 this day and age NOT GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY.

  3. Noel Roe Albertville  December 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I am worth 10 dollars an hour. I work hard everyday and I am on time everyday. I make a little better than minimum wage right now and I feel blessed to have a job and I believe in my company and the people who own it but truth be told the minimum wage needs to go up with the cost of living. Its not to pick on mama and papas store but to be fair. I’m voting for those politicians who favor raising the min. wage.

  4. keke  December 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Please! Take minimum wage up in Alabama. We need it. Stuff is high anyway!

  5. adrienne hanson  December 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    The minimum wage should increase in Alabama but the other items should not go up. I lived in Arizona and a gallon of milk is way cheaper than it is in Alabama and the wages are the same. We should get a increase. Being a single parent has that as a down fall. We try to get ahead in this world but we can’t because every job only pays minimum wage. Most of our wages go to day care. This is not right when we work so hard. If it weren’t for us the company was be just a building.

  6. ERM  October 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Every time minimum wage goes up, so does everything else. Who are they kidding about the jobs openings. It will close all the mom and pop stores. Business people have no chance unless they are big business. I have a small business and can’t afford to hire anyone to work for me as it is. More wages mean more expenses. We need to learn to grow our own food and take care of ourselves. I know people that have to work 80 hours a week because they can’t make it. That is still not enough. Giving them more money for the hour isn’t the answer. Bring the prices down. Quit buying junk and just buy what you need. Grow what you can then you won’t need much. All you need is some containers or garden space, a few seeds, a little time to work on it, a freezer, and some bags or containers to put the food up in. Learn how to take care of yourself. I also advocate getting rid of the power company monopolies and use windmills, and other power producing sources. I also hate having to pay water companies for something God gave us for free. Wake up people and start taking care of yourself.

  7. TOSHA  April 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Unfortunately, this will not go as well as some people think. Once minimum wage goes up, so will everything else. It will just be a license for companies to charge more. Milk will be $9.00 a gallon and bread will be $5.00. It sounds good, but you have to read the fine print.

  8. josh  February 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    This is ridiculous. Where do “the people”think this money will come from? If you think the economy is bad now when this goes in effect the cost of living will be so high no one will be able to afford to “live the dream”politicians gone wild


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