State Increase in Minimum Wage To Affect 139,000 Workers

Posted December 26, 2006 4:10 p.m. EST
Updated December 26, 2006 4:28 p.m. EST

— An estimated 139,000 workers in North Carolina who make the minimum wage are due to get a raise as of Jan. 1, 2007.

That’s when legislation passed last summer by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Mike Easley takes effect.

The first increase in the minimum wage in nine years will lift hourly pay by $1, to $6.15.

However, the vast majority of N.C. workers won’t be affected. The N.C. Employment Security Commission reported last week that 4,279,400 people were working in the state, an all-time high.

The number of people expected to see an increase in wages is based on U.S. Census data cited by Easley’s office. The federal minimum wage remains unchanged at $5.15.

“After nine years without an increase in the federal minimum wage, North Carolina
was done waiting on Washington,” Easley said in a statement on Tuesday. “We took the matter in our own hands to help provide some economic security to our hard working families.”

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Alma Adams (D-Guilford) and Rep. Jim Harrell (D-Alleghany, Surry).

The bill also ensures N.C. workers that if the federal minimum wage is increased they will receive whichever wage is higher.