CONTACT: Office of the Commissioner Phone: (907) 465-2700
Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Alaska’s minimum wage will increase January 1, 2003 to $7.15 from $5.65 per hour changing it from the lowest to the highest on the west coast, as a result of House Bill 56, signed into law on July 1, 2002.
“This increase in the minimum wage will mean more spendable income for the 14,000 Alaskans who make between $5.65 and $6.74 per hour,” Greg O’Claray, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said today.
The legislation sets the minimum wage at $7.15 with automatic increases each January thereafter matching any increase in the Anchorage Consumer Price Index. “This will result in automatic pay increases when warranted for Alaska's lowest paid workers,” continued O’Claray.
When the federal minimum wage increases, the Alaska wage will automatically adjust to remain at a level of $1.00 higher. The increase applies to all employees in the private sector, whether working in a for-profit or not-for-profit business.
Economists at the Labor department say it’s too early to predict the impact of this increase, although they acknowledge that real earnings have steadily been declining, meaning that wages have not kept pace with inflation in Alaska.
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