Higher Minimum Wage Affects A Sixth Of NM Workers

Feb 15, 2013

Supporters of raising the minimum wage say it will help a sixth of New Mexico's workforce and provide $105 million in higher wages.

A study by New Mexico Voices for Children estimates 137,000 workers will benefit if the state's hourly minimum wage is increased to $8.50 from $7.50, and it's adjusted annually for inflation. Proposals to do that are pending in the Legislature.

Business groups say a higher minimum wage could cause job losses.

However, the social advocacy group said Thursday the economy will receive a $67 million boost — creating almost 600 jobs — because New Mexicans will have more money to spend on goods and services.

The study said an hourly wage of $9.25 is needed for a family of three to reach the federal poverty level.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.