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Should Texas raise their minimum wage rate?

Posted at 11:19 AM, Jan 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-02 12:26:39-05

A New Year also means a new rate of pay for several Americans.

Twenty states are raising their minimum wage rates Friday.

Texas is not one of those states but some believe the minimum wage, which is $7.25, should also be increased, especially for those in the service industry.

“$7.25 an hour does not pay a living. That’s why you have parents that are working two to three jobs. That’s why you have children that are in homes. Daycare for one child is $500 a month in certain areas. That $7.25 doesn’t secure any family financially,” said Killeen resident Khandiese Cooper.

The raises were previously scheduled efforts to adjust for cost-of-living gains or towards goals like $15 an hour minimum pay.

Robert Tennant with Texas A&M Central Texas says a drastic increase to $15 would do more harm than good for Texans.

“If you rush right into it and make it systemic that could have negative impacts on states that have substantially lower cost of living. It would be a shock to the system,” said Texas A&M Central Texas Department Chair of Finance Accounting and Economics Robert Tennant.

“It’s not a smart move to say hey you have 100 employees and now you’re gonna have to pay them additional eight dollars per hour. People will start getting cut,” said Cooper.

Tennant said Texas could lose more than 370,000 jobs over the next 6 years if the change were to happen, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

He said it would also impact minorities.

“Racial demographics would lose about 10% of those jobs. Which means people of color would be impacted far greater because they represent a smaller portion of the population.”

Many agree places like Florida and New Jersey, who are increasing minimum wage in increments, are showing a better method because it would give businesses time to adjust.

Texas’s minimum wage has not changed since 2009. Tennant said more businesses in the state offer above minimum wage.