Connecticut’s Minimum Wage Still Behind Where it Should Be.

Connecticut has some of the most employee friendly laws in the country.  We have very powerful anti-discrimination laws and good wage and hour laws.  Our current minimum wage, $8.25 per hour, is among the highest in the country.  For that reason, some say that Connecticut is a tough place for businesses.  They argue that business can’t survive if the minimum wage is raised.

Well, our legislature is doing just that.  A bill has now passed both houses to increase the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.00 by 2015. But how does this wage stack up historically?

In 1963, the year I was born, the minimum wage was $1.25.  Adjusted for inflation, that means $9.50.  So, our current rate of $8.25 is behind where it was in 1963.  

More importantly, with the gap between rich and poor widening, we need to do everything we can to increase the wages of hard working Connecticut citizens.  It is not only the right and moral thing to do, but it is good for the economy.  When lower income workers have more money, they spend it.  Higher income workers save more of their pay raises.  

Even Henry Ford knew that he wanted his workers to be able to afford the cars that they built.  

So, lets stop complaining about raising the minimum wage and claiming that it will drive business out of Connecticut.  It won’t.  Its moral, fair and the right thing to do for the economy.