Many workers believe that the minimum wage laws in the United States need a serious makeover, particularly in those states where the minimum wage has not risen above that of the federal statute. Some states are taking matters into their own hands to protect their workers with the rising standards of living, while others are still stuck in $5.15 land.
If you are looking for the best place to work for minimum wage, you aren’t alone. Workers whose paychecks continue to barely pay the bills are seeking out second jobs to help cover the mortgage. Since the standard of living continues to climb, it can become impossible to support a family on minimum wage.
States such as Colorado, Indiana and Texas continue to keep the minimum wage at a paltry $5.15 an hour. Even if you were working a full-time week at $5.15 (40 hours), you would make just $206 per week before taxes. That comes out to around $885.00 per month (depending on the number of weeks), which isn’t enough to pay rent on most two-bedroom apartments.
Some of the best places to work for minimum wage are those states, such as Alaska, where state law requires minimum wage to rest at least $1.00 above federal minimum wage. Alaska’s current minimum is $7.15 an hour, which certainly complies with their laws.
There are also some states where cities raise the minimum wage, such as California, where workers in the city of Los Angeles must be paid at least $9.08 per hour if health benefits are part of the package, and $10.33 if they are not. Santa Fe, New Mexico has a minimum wage of $9.50, which is much higher than the state minimum of $5.15.
You might also want to consider looking into your future, as many states have plans to raise the minimum wage through 2008. For example, in Massachusetts, the minimum increased to $7.50 in January of 2007 and will go up to $8.00 in 2008. This gives workers something to look forward to while keeping the economy in check with gradual changes.
In Oregon, the current minimum wage is $7.50, and state law requires it to be adjusted annually according to inflation. Laws like these can help workers to keep abreast of the changing financial landscape without having to take on multiple jobs.
If you are looking for the best places to make minimum wage, you might consider looking at states where the minimum wage continues to grow. While moving might seem like a drastic action, it can help keep your family safe. You should also evaluate the job market; in Texas, for example, there are very few employers who pay minimum wage ($5.15) to their workers.