Regional
5:25 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Economist: Wage Increase Not Significant Problem

Economics professor at NMSU Chris Erickson taught for years that a minimum wage increase would hurt businesses.

For the first time, he is changing that statement.

“An increase in the minimum wage appears to have almost no impact on employment."

President Obama said in his State of the Union Address that he would issue an executive order making all government contractors pay workers over $10 an hour.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico weighed in on the speech…

“I was pleased to hear the president….I applaud the president’s decisions to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors and help workers save for retirement.”

For the fast food workers and others making the minimum now, Professor Erickson says a typical increase will not make that huge impact because the raises are never by much.

“Evidence we have is for increments of 25…50 cents…economics common sense …says that larger changes are harder to deal with than small changes.”

Las Cruces City Councilman Gill Sorg says he has been in favor of a city-wide increase for a long time.

“I think we need to raise the min wage…now just how fast and other details, we have to work out.”

Councilman Sorg ultimately thinks the best way to resolve the issue is to take it to the polls.

“I think we need something on the ballot that people can vote on.”