Friday, May 27, 2022


High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.


Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.


High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Labor Groups: ND Keeps Losing Ground on Minimum Wage


Thursday, January 6, 2022   

The start of the new year saw a number of states boost their minimum wage, but not North Dakota. Labor leaders say it's remained at $7.25 an hour for far too long, especially with neighboring states continuing to go higher.

South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota rang in the new year with higher minimum wages, with those increases tied to inflation.

Kooper Caraway, president of the South Dakota Federation of Labor, said not only does it put more money in the hands of workers and their families, but it helps to keep jobs filled.

"Since the minimum wage was increased and tied to inflation, South Dakota's always had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country," Caraway observed. "And the good thing is that we also have a robust labor movement, and that robust labor movement is raising wages much higher than the minimum wage."

South Dakota's latest increase, the result of a voter-approved measure in 2014, brought its wage to $9.95 an hour.

In North Dakota, worker advocates fear residents will abandon the state, even with jobs available, because the lower threshold will make it harder to survive. Last year, North Dakota lawmakers rejected a proposed hike, with concerns raised about the impact on businesses.

Landis Larson, president of the North Dakota AFL-CIO, said it is frustrating cost-of-living measures are similar in the four-state region. He argued it gives North Dakota policymakers no excuse for not taking action.

"They really want to do their best to make a friendly business climate, but they forget about the worker climate," Larson asserted. "It's a two-way street."

Rep. LaurieBeth Hager, D-Fargo, was behind last year's plan to increase North Dakota's minimum wage, and said being far behind other states is especially troubling right now.

"When you look at the increases in housing costs, and fuel costs and grocery costs, all of those things are exponentially rising, and the minimum wage has just bottomed out," Hager stated.

Hager added a more likely scenario in which North Dakota increases its minimum wage is by taking it to the voters, but other supporters say such a plan has to be tied to inflation.

Disclosure: North Dakota AFL-CIO contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …

Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …


This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021