On New Years Day, the minimum wage in Massachusetts will increase from $12 an hour to $12.75. The rate will continue to bump up each year until it reaches $15 in 2023.

The higher minimum wage will put added economic pressure on local businesses, according the National Federation of Independent Business.

The wage hike is just one factor among many adding to the cost of doing business in Massachusetts, including health care and energy costs and higher payroll costs as a result of the state’s new paid leave mandate.

Many are warning that as the wage approaches $15 an hour, some businesses could cut jobs.

Many studies suggest entry-level jobs could also be eliminated and some businesses may replace workers by investing in automation, such as self check-outs and ordering kiosks. He said other costs — including proposals to increase the gas tax or impose congestion pricing — could also add to the overall fiscal burdens of business owners.

But advocates who pushed for the higher wage say lower-paid workers are struggling to make ends meet. They say about 420,000 low-wage workers in Massachusetts will get a raise as a result of the increase.

Others think that this will result in hundreds of thousands of working people in Massachusetts having more money in their pockets to put food on the table, pay their bills, or save for an emergency.

Massachusetts isn’t alone in raising wages. Twenty other states will also see an increase in their minimum wage in 2020.

Categories: 2020, Legislative News

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