PROVIDENCE – Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 per hour by 2014 would give more than 95,000 workers in Rhode Island a raise, causing them to earn roughly $120 million in additional wages collectively.
The findings, reported by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, were highlighted by the Rhode Island-based Economic Progress Institute in a news release last week.
The Washington group said that nationally, 28 million American workers would get a raise, while approximately 100,000 new jobs would be generated over three years.
In Rhode Island, 83 percent of the minimum-wage workers are older than 20, while 45 percent have some college education, the Progress Institute said. Approximately 43 percent of affected workers are employed full time.
Rhode Island lawmakers increased the state’s minimum wage from $7.40 per hour to $7.75 per hour, which will take effect Jan. 1.
A full copy of the papers from the Economic Policy Institute can be found online at www.epi.org. •