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On 100th Anniversary, Report Looks At Mass. Minimum Wage

This article is more than 7 years old.

It's the 100th anniversary of the nation's first minimum wage law — passed in Massachusetts — and a new report says increasing the state's current minimum wage would give raises to more than half a million workers.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center finds that if the minimum wage in Massachusetts were increased from $8 an hour to $10, then more than 500,000 workers would see income growth of more than $1,000 a year.

"That's both those who make less than $10 an hour, and some who make a little bit above that, because there are ripple effects also when you raise the floor," the center's executive director, Noah Berger, told our Newscast unit.

He also said that while Massachusetts has approved a number of raises in the minimum wage over the years, the system has some flaws.

Berger said that in the past decade, inflation has offset gains from minimum wage hikes. He said the value of the higher wage erodes because it is not indexed to inflation.

But, Berger added, at its current level, Massachusetts is still among the top 10 states for minimum wage. Here's a map of minimum wage laws, by state.

This program aired on June 4, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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