State House News Service: Minimum wage: Two struggling groups at odds

By Andy Metzger
State House News Service, Sept 20, 2017

BOSTON -- A debate over adequate worker compensation that was waged before a legislative committee Tuesday and could be headed to the ballot next November has pitted two struggling groups against one another. ...

The minimum wage in January rose to $11, the last of three one-dollar increases required under the 2014 law. ... Massachusetts housing costs are among the highest in the nation. The average monthly cost of a Boston apartment lease was $2,038, the Boston Globe reported earlier this year. That is more than the monthly paycheck of someone working fulltime at minimum wage. ...

The Bay State's August unemployment rate of 4.4 percent was slightly below the national rate, and [Rep. Dan] Donahue said that as the state's minimum wage ticked up the past three years, the state added more than 150,000 jobs.

The minimum wage bill has the support of major unions, as well as the liberal Alliance for Business Leadership, a Boston-based group called Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, and Ali Fong, a co-founder of the restaurant chain Bon Me, who said the company raised its wage floor to $13 per hour and the goal is to get that to $15 per hour by the end of 2018. ...

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Copyright 2017 State House News Service

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