Arkansas voters approve minimum wage hike

Arkansas voters approve minimum wage hike

TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - Hundreds of thousands of Arkansas workers are set for a pay increase at the start of the new year.

Voters approved the hike in Tuesday night’s election. It raises the minimum wage in from $8.50 per hour to $9.25 per hour starting January 2019, and ultimately $11.00 by January 2021.

We are going to get better qualified candidates wanting our jobs because of the difference in the wage," believes Dewayne Butler, co-owner of Red Carpet Employment Agency in Texarkana.

This agency refers prospective employees to businesses on both sides of the Arkansas-Texas line.

Butler said many economists think the increase will put more money into the overall economy. However, Butler said certain workers could experience a negative result from the increase.

“From the manufacturing prospective I can tell you that some of our clients will inevitably choose to invest money in new equipment to automate their process which can has a cascade effect of eliminating jobs,” said Butler.

The Calloway family works for clients of Red Carpet Employment Agency. KSLA News 12 caught up with them as they came by the agency on other business.

“I can’t understand why minimum wage is what it is today with the cost of living and everything I mean how can you make it on what minimum wage is,” said Marcus and Tomeka Calloway.

The goal of Issue 5 is to have a 29% increase in the minimum wage in Arkansas over three years.

“People tend to consider more positive relocating to a state who has a higher minimum wage especially if their family environment includes members that are newly entering the job market,” said Butler.

“I’m glad that it is going up I think it is a great thing I’m proud,” said the Calloways.

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