Christopher Swope was GOVERNING's executive editor.E-mail: email@example.com
As 13th floor readers know, I believe that indexing the minimum wage to inflation would be an excellent way to get Democrats and Republicans to stop arguing about it all the time. Turns out six states -- Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and Ohio -- are voting on this very idea next week.
Today's WSJ weighs in on the issue with a look (free WSJ link today!)at how indexing has worked in Oregon since 2002. There is, of course, an example confirming the business lobby's worst fears: a restaurant owner says he hires fewer employees because his profit margins are squeezed.
But here's the money quote:
Oregon's experience suggests the most strident doomsayers were wrong. Private, nonfarm payrolls are up 8% over the past four years, nearly twice the national increase. Wages are up, too. Job growth is strong in industries employing many minimum-wage workers, such as restaurants and hotels. Oregon's estimated 5.4% unemployment rate for 2006, though higher than the national average, is down from 7.6% in 2002, when the state was emerging from a recession.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.