Raising the Minimum Wage as an Economic Development Tool

A new report says the 13 states that raised their minimum wages this year are adding jobs quicker than those states that did not.

The Associated Press reports data from the Labor Department shows that states which hiked their minimum wage had an average job growth rate of .85% for the first six months of the year. The other 37 states saw an average job growth rate of .61% over the same amount of time.

Nine of the 13 states increased their minimum wages automatically in line with inflation: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Four more states – Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island – approved legislation mandating the increases.

Twelve of those states have seen job growth this year, while employment in Vermont has been flat. The number of jobs in Florida has risen 1.6 percent this year, the most of the 13 states with higher minimums. Its minimum rose to $7.93 an hour from $7.79 last year.