Minimum Wage Increase, What It Means For Amarillo - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Minimum Wage Increase, What It Means For Amarillo

"Amarillo has such a low unemployment rate most employers can't hire people at minimum wage," says Dr. Neil Terry, Professor of Economics at West Texas A&M "Amarillo has such a low unemployment rate most employers can't hire people at minimum wage," says Dr. Neil Terry, Professor of Economics at West Texas A&M

Starting Tuesday millions of people across the country received a pay raise as minimum wage increased from $5.15 to $5.85.

NewsChannel 10 spoke with Dr. Neil Terry, Professor of Economics at West Texas A&M University, who says since Amarillo has such a low unemployment rate most employers can't hire people at minimum wage. He says they end up starting people around $6.00 to $6.50 which means most workers in Amarillo already make more than minimum wage. That means not very many area people will be affected by the wage increase right now.

Terry says you will notice changes down the road as minimum wage continues to increase. In July 2008 it will increase to $6.55 per hour and then increase to $7.25 in July 2009. Terry says the final increase should affect Amarillo's economy. He says people working on minimum wage will be making about $4,000 more a year and therefore will spend more.

He added it could have a negative impact as well because it could cause some inflation which could cause some businesses to pass the extra buck to you. Terry also says you might see more unemployment because some businesses might not be able to afford as many workers. Congress approved this minimum wage increase back in May.

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