Tags: Minimum Wage | US State Facts | minimum wage | Alaska

Minimum Wage: 7 Facts About Alaska's Minimum Wage

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 02:30 AM

Alaska is one of 29 states in the country with a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage with voters recently approving boosting the level again in 2016. Here are seven interesting facts about the Alaska minimum wage.

1. When the new bump in the Alaska's minimum wage occurs in 2016, it would more than double what the standard was in 1996, according to the state's Division of Labor Standards and Safety. The state's minimum wage from 1991 to 1996 was $4.75. The new 2016 minimum wage will be $9.75, according to the division.

2. Alaska's two dollar increase from 2015 to 2016 will mark the biggest increase in the state's minimum wage during that period, according to the Division of Labor Statistics and Safety. The biggest jump before that time was 2003, which Alaska's minimum wage increased $1.50, from $5.65 to $7.15.

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3. School bus drivers are required to receive double the state's minimum wage because of a state law passed in 1989, reported the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. That means bus drivers received a $2 pay increase per hour this year and another next year, climbing to $19.50 in 2016, the News-Miner stated. The newspaper reported that bus drivers operating under a contract could receive the increase with their new contracts.

4. Some of the positions exempt from Alaska's minimum wage and overtime laws, according to the state's Division of Labor Standards and Safety, include student learners; individuals employed in agriculture; employees hand-picking shrimp; babysitters in a private home; individuals engaged in nonprofit activities for religious, charitable, cemetery, and educational organizations; and caretakers of premises, property, or plants not in operation for four months or more.

5. According to Ballotpedia, Alaska had maintained the country's highest state minimum wage for more than 30 years since becoming a state in 1959. It was the first state to adopt a minimum wage higher than the federal government's standard.

6. In November 2014, Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure No. 3, a $2 increase in the state's minimum wage compared to 2015 and 2016 by a wide margin. Some 194,654 voters approved the measure (69.35 percent) while 86,040 (30.65 percent) voted no, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.

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7. Alaska's 69.35 percent approval of the state minimum wage increase was the highest among four other states that passed ballot initiatives in November 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal. Arkansas approved its minimum wage increase to $8.50 by 65 percent, 59 percent of Nebraska voters approved upping its minimum wage to $9 and South Dakota's measure to increase its wage standard to $8.50 passed with 53 percent, noted the Wall Street Journal.

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Alaska is one of 29 states in the country with a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage with voters recently approving boosting the level again in 2016.
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2016-30-07
Thursday, 07 Jan 2016 02:30 AM
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