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SD Minimum Wage to Increase This Month

July 3, 2007


South Dakota labor groups are applauding a minimum wage increase slated to go into effect this month. Mark Anderson with the South Dakota State Federation of Labor says the increase from $5.15 per hour to $5.85 is good news for South Dakota workers and is long overdue.

“It will be the first time that the minimum wage has been increased in about ten years. It's going to affect 10 percent of the workforce in the country, and in South Dakota that will affect 29,000 workers directly and probably indirectly, another 36,000.”

Anderson notes the increase will bring the state's lowest income workers over the poverty line. And he adds that it won't hurt employers.

“All the recent studies that have been done show no negative impact on employment or on small businesses. And I think the employers have an opportunity to maybe recover some of those higher costs through increased productivity and less recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism and maybe increased worker morale because they're getting paid a little more, and they probably want to come to work more often.”

Anderson believes increasing the minimum wage provides an immediate impact, not only for the workers, but for the economy as a whole.

“Those are the kind of people that spend their money in the local economy. They don't stick it in their pocket or save it. It gets back into the economy. So, I don't see that it can do anything other than help.”

The pay hike goes in to effect on the July 24, and it's the first of three steps. It goes to $6.55 per hour in 2008 and $7.25 in 2009.

David Law/Eric Mack, Public News Service - SD