Minimum Wage Increase

LFDA Editor

New Hampshire has the lowest minimum wage in New England, but there are movements at both the state and national level to raise the minimum wage.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 2007 set the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour.  In 2011 the New Hampshire legislature passed a bill that matches the state minimum wage to the federal minimum wage.  There are some exceptions to the minimum wage law for young workers and workers who receive tips.

The National Conference of State Legislatures offers a comparison of state minimum wage laws here.

PROS & CONS

"For" Position

By LFDA Editor

"NH should raise the minimum wage."

  • When accounting for inflation, the real value of the minimum wage has actually decreased over the last forty years.  Using data from the U.S. Census and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in 2016 the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that a minimum wage worker in New Hampshire must work 116 hours per week to afford a standard two-bedroom apartment. 
  • A minimum wage increase is essential to decreasing poverty.  After President Obama proposed a minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour, the Congressional Budget Office released a report that predicted the minimum wage increase would lift about 900,000 people above the poverty threshold. 
  • Keynesian economics predicts that workers who are paid more spend more, therefore boosting the economy overall.  

"Against" Position

By LFDA Editor

"NH should not raise the minimum wage." 

  • According to classical economics (as opposed to Keynesian economics), a higher minimum wage could result in fewer jobs for young and low-skilled workers, since hiring minimum wage workers would be less profitable for businesses.  The Congressional Budget Office report mentioned in the "For" position showed a loss of 500,000 jobs nationally if the minimum wage increases to $10.10. 
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most minimum wage workers are under 25 and working part-time.  For those workers a minimum wage job is an entrance to the workforce, a source of pocket-money, or a source of income during college; those young, part-time workers don't need a living wage, they just need jobs.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Killed in the House

Raises the minimum wage to $9.50 in 2018 and $12 in 2019, with annual cost of living adjustments starting in 2020. The bill also establishes a training wage that is one dollar less than the minimum wage for the first three months of employment for someone sixteen or seventeen years-old.

Killed in the House

Repeals the state minimum wage law.

Killed in the Senate

Raises the minimum wage to $8.50 On September 1, 2017, $10 on March 1, 2018, and $12 on September 1, 2018.

Killed in the House

Gradually increases the minimum hourly rate for tipped employees to the full federal minimum wage by 2020.

Killed in the House

Raises the minimum wage to $8.25 in 2017, $9 in 2018, and $9.50 in 2019.

Killed in the Senate

Raises the minimum wage to $12 per hour.

Killed in the House

Raises the minimum wage to $16 per hour.

Killed in the House

Enables counties and municipalities to establish minimum wage rates for all individuals employed within such county or town.

Killed in the House

Establishes a state minimum hourly wage to be adjusted by the cost of living index, starting at $8.25 in 2016.

Tabled in the Senate

Prohibits employers from employing individuals with disabilities at an hourly rate lower than the federal minimum wage except for practical experience or training programs.

Signed by Governor

Prohibits employers from employing individuals with disabilities at an hourly rate lower than the federal minimum wage except for practical experience or training programs and family businesses.

Killed in the House

Raises the minimum wage to $9.10 in 2016, $11.40 in 2017, and $14.25 in 2018. Starting in 2019, the minimum wage is adjusted according to cost of living.

Killed in the Senate

Raises the minimum wage to $8.25 in 2016, $9.00 in 2017, and $10.00 in 2018.

Signed by Governor

Creates a committee to study ending the payment of sub-minimum wages to persons with disabilities.

Killed in the Senate

Raises the minimum wage, starting at $9 per hour.

Killed in the Senate

Sets the state minimum wage at $7.25, in place of federal minimum wage.

Veto Overridden

Ties the New Hampshire minimum wage to the federal minimum wage.

Should NH raise the minimum wage?

FOR
REPRESENTATIVES

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AGAINST
REPRESENTATIVES

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Comments

BrianDunn's picture
Brian Dunn
- Henniker

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 10:28pm

Though raising the minimum wage sounds nice and is something I think every working class individual would vote in favor of, the raising of the minimum wage is a selfish personal desire and would not positively effect society as much as it would appear. By raising the minimum wage we must realize that unemployment would increase. Though everyone would like to make more money, you have to realize how this action would affect the people giving money to the working class. Raising the minimum wage increases the cost of running a business. Business and employers would now have to lay off a certain number of employees to maintain the same level of net profit they did before the legislation. Raising the minimum wage will also price people out of the workforce. The reason many people do not make more than minimum wage today is because they do not have the skill set, education or training to justify a higher salary. If the work force is cut and you are one of the previous minimum wage workers to get laid off, it is going to be exponentially harder for you to now find a job. With more unemployment and higher wages comes more competition for any new available positions. If you already did not have the skills, education and training before this legislation you run the risk of being priced out of the market entirely after the legislation.

 

Raising the minimum wage further hurts businesses by increasing taxes upon that business. Some businesses are taxed according to their payroll. The more workers you have and the more you pay them, the higher the taxes you must pay.  For example we look at Medicaid and Social Security. Both the employee and employer pay the same amount in taxes. If the minimum wage is increased from 7.25 to 10.00, the employer is now paying 6.2% in taxes on 10$ than they were at 7.25$. So not only is the business now paying more money to each employee, but they are paying more tax revenue to the government at the same time. It is an expensive double whammy. Businesses and corporations already operate under some of the highest tax burdens. In a time of recession and in a time where entrepreneurship and small business ownership are not on the rise, we can not continue to hamper peoples aspirations to be in business. In fact it is the duty of the government to do the exact opposite of this.

 

Australia has a minimum wage much higher than here in the United States, and when you hear the number you say to yourself, wow that sounds amazing I should live there. It is not until you dig a little deeper into the society that you see the downfalls of such a high minimum wage. Because employers and vendors are forced to pay such high wages the cost of the products and services you buy there are driven up. The minimum wage may be 15.00$ compared to 7.25$ here, but to go into a store and buy a bag of Doritos that would cost 2$ here costs 4.50$ there. It is not as simple as raise the minimum wage and people will have more money for a better life. All the money being spent buy the businesses to cover the new minimum wage has to come from somewhere. This comes in the cost of good and services to customers and a decrease in the total workforce.

Ananta Gopalan
- Hampton

Sat, 12/14/2013 - 8:46pm

In a recent op-ed in the Union Leader, Mr. Mark MacKenzie is arguing for increasing the minimum wage through political process from $7.25 to $10.10. There was another op-ed from a business group claiming that raising the minimum wage would hurt the very people it was supposed to help because employers would hire less.  Mr. MacKenzie  claims that such  thinking was outdated because it was not just teenagers flipping hamburgers that are involved anymore.

How did we as a nation get to the point of adults employed full time flipping hamburgers or equivalent full time jobs as their careers?  It used to be that people acquired skills and moved on.  According to Mr. MacKenzie that is not the case anymore.  What he is saying is that our economy and our inability to create high-paying jobs are creating conditions of hopelessness to a significant portions of our population.  That indeed is a sad day for America.  I remember the time not that long ago, you worked hard starting at low-paying jobs, went to school, got marketable skills (such as welding, mechanics of all types, machinists, tool and die makers etc.etc) and moved into middle class.  You saved money, bought a house, established a family of your own, worked even harder and saw to it that your children got better education than you did in the hope that they would be better off than you were.  Mr. Mackenzie tells us that is not the case any more.  But, he doesn't tell us why that is not the case anymore.

We are now a nation consumed with jealousy wanting to tear down those that became successful because politicians and the labor unions along with the academia have been drilling into our youth that they are being exploited by the rich and that they are owed a living by the government taking from the rich and redistributing to the have-nots.  Every day you hear from the president on down that the rich doesn't pay their fair share and that the country is unfair as founded. 

Mr. MacKenzie does not say that our policies (mostly socialistic, replacing market-capitalism) have degenerated our economy to the point that it can not provide meaningful employment with rising standard of living.  Unions have forced the capital to flee abroad taking all the high-paying jobs with it.  Government regulations through environmental extremism have choked off any growth in any high-tech jobs.  It has gotten to the point where we have to have Chinese welders and companies build the Bay bridge in Oakland.  We have essentially shut down our own energy resources believing in the man-made hoax called global warming.  We are highly educated but extremely stupid in believing snake-oil science.  Or, how about propping up the so called renewable energy of wind and solar by the billions of tax payer dollars that will never succeed because there is such a thing called the Second Law of Thermodynamics?  How about the hysteria about bringing oil from Canada through pipes? We have been doing it for decades without any problem.  How about the Obamacare taxing the medical device manufacturers so that they can be killed off,one of the industries in which we lead the world?  How about the union rejection of Boeing offer in Washington state recently to stay in Seattle but expecting concessions?  Boeing will probably move the production of the new 777X to some other place including overseas, such as Japan and China.  How many jobs are lost for the future workers of America.  Mr. MacKenzie, your statement that we have more people working at full time jobs at the minimum wage levels is an indictment of the socialist policies of the Progressives aided and abetted by your organization.  Market capitalism is the only means by which mobility in the economic ladder and the potential to constantly improve one's standard of living and lifting people from settling on minimum wage jobs as their careers can be assured.

Mr. MacKenzie doesn't say, why his organization is supporting legalizing illegal immigrants who are mostly low-skilled and will compete for the same minimum wage jobs?  He must be fighting for enormous growth in low-skilled, low-paying jobs because the majority high-paying jobs are going abroad in spite of government regulations enacted by legislators supported by the unions trying to prevent them.

Mr. MacKenzie, wage must be determined based on economic worth of the job and not through political power.  Soviet Union paid everyone the same regardless of the job content and economic worth.  We know what happened there.  It will repeat itself here if we try to do the same.  Think about it this way.  If I want to have my lawn mowed, I hire some one to do it and the government says that I must pay $10 an hour, I will probably try do it myself not hiring anyone or have the lawn mowed less often.  It is human nature all over the world regardless of the political system.  This idea of government declaring what the minimum wage will be will definitely reduce employment or result in more under employment.  People have limited resources to conduct business and forced wages would require adjustment or they will go out of business.

If $10 per hour is good for those people why not make it $20 an hour?  Wouldn't that help the economy even more?  I guess when we are printing money to cover expenses we can certainly afford it, right? Hamburgers will cost $15 and that means we would have to increase the minimum wage to $25 hour.  At one time in Germany, they had to wheel in to the grocery store wheel barrow full of Marks to buy bread.  Based on the current logic, they must have been affluent.

If you are concerned about the people stuck in low paying jobs, we must fight to expand the economic pie, increase opportunities, remove artificial government-imposed obstacles from private enterprises, encourage obtaining needed skills (not a degree in medieval art or some such useless subjects for making a livelihood) and most of all get rid of the entitlement mentality.  You should be allowed to keep what you make through your own effort, however small or large that may be without demonizing those that make more than you do.  The only system that can make that happen is the free market capitalism and not socialism which is only good in redistributing poverty.

Amanda Cram
- Loudon

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 8:21pm

Why do I say no to these bills? Is it because I'm a business owner or a wealthy citizen? The answer is, no. I'm neither. I'm a stay-at-home mom managing a household on the lower end of the middle class tier. So why would I say no?

This is a basic economics question. Have you heard of trickle-down economics? Same theory! Let's say you're a manager at a store. The stock person makes $7.25 an hour. New Hampshire raises their minimum wage to $8 or $9.25 an hour.

Let's say the next person above them is currently making $9.25. They have worked there longer and don't like that the person below them is now making the same wage. They then ask their boss for a raise stating their case and are now making $11.25 an hour. This goes on all the way up the chain to the store manager or further. The store is now losing A LOT of money! What is the store going to do?

Raise prices on their goods! So now, not only will that stock person who said they couldn't live on minimum wage have to pay higher prices on goods and services, but everyone else does as well. Do you get where I'm going with this?

Raising the minimum wage causes inflation, which then increases the cost of living, which then requires raising the minimum wage again. It is a vicious cycle with untold consequences, yet we keep going on this merry-go-round.

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Issue Status

The House and Senate killed two 2017 bills to raise the minimum wage.  See the Legislative History section of this page for more details.

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