LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Minimum wage in Arkansas is on the agenda for the 89th General Assembly.
House Bill 1402 would raise the minimum wage for employees. If passed, the bill would take effect Oct. 1 of 2013, and raise the rate from $6.25 an hour to $8.25 cents an hour.
Economist Dr. Michael Pakko said raising the minimum wage is helpful for those able to get a job, but more difficult for those that can't get the same job.
"When we raise the minimum wage, it's not necessarily an efficient, targeted way to help the working poor, which is who we really want to help in this circumstance," he explained. "There are more direct ways to benefit that segment of society. So, it's not a very sharp instrument. It's not a very useful tool for really addressing the problem to help the working poor find a better way of life. And, as I mentioned, the drawback makes it more difficult for younger, inexperienced workers to get their foot in the door."
The minimum wage has increased in 10 other states beginning on Jan. 1 of this year. The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour. The last time it was increased was 2009.
If an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the higher of the two is enacted.