By On behalf of The Law Offices of Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A.

The arguments against minimum-wage hikes are manifold, but one of the loudest has been that higher wages for workers will cause the collapse of local economies. Interestingly, statistics show that the states that raised the minimum wage at the start of 2014 are actually adding more jobs at a faster rate than those who chose to keep their wages stable. The fact that more workers are being properly compensated for their work in Florida and other states may bode well for the economy — and it could put a chink in the arguments against minimum-wage raises.

In all, 13 states boosted their minimum wage at the beginning of 2013, with most adjusting the amount because of inflation. States including Florida, Arizona and Ohio have automatic adjustments to account for an increased cost of living. Four other states chose to implement new legislation to raise the minimum wage.

Surprisingly, 12 of those states have seen significant job growth in the past few months, with the number of jobs rising by 1.6 percent in Florida. That is the highest gain out of all other states who upped their minimum wage. Government officials say that the higher minimum wages may have increased paychecks for as many as 16.5 million workers nationwide.

Although experts say that the new statistics do not provide definitive conclusions about wage laws — more data is needed — job growth numbers may bolster arguments for employees’ rights groups. Workers in Florida and other states deserve fair compensation, especially if they are working minimum wage jobs. Those vulnerable employees are all too often subjected to unfair practices such as being denied breaks and overtime; they should not be underpaid, to boot.

Source: ABC News, “US States With Higher Minimum Wages Gain More Jobs” Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press, Jul. 19, 2014