Should Louisiana set its own minimum wage?

David Blake
April 02, 2019 - 12:41 pm

Is there a good chance for passage of a minimum wage boost in the next legislative session?  Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards wants an increase, but the argument always faces a rough ride, and this time should be no different.  

Several other states and cities have already raised their minimum wages, in some, cases dramatically.  University of New Orleans business professor Mark Rosa notes that Seattle's minimum wage hike didn't go as planned.

"They basically doubled the minimum wage to $15, and some businesses had to close immediately," said Rosa. "They just couldn't take the wage hike."

The increase being talked about in Louisiana would raise the current federal minimum of $7.25 and hours to $9 an hour, but Rosa says small businesses could have trouble. 

"All of a sudden, somebody says they have to make it up overnight, so you can count on some businesses not to embrace so eagerly," Rosa said.

Instead of a shock, Rosa says some officials favor a gradual increase tied to inflation, like two to three percent a year.
 

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