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Higher minimum wage affects sixth of NM workers

Higher minimum wage affects sixth of New Mexico workers

Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- Supporters of raising the minimum wage say it will help a sixth of New Mexico's work force and provide $105 million in higher wages.

A study by New Mexico Voices for Children estimates 137,000 workers will benefit if the state's hourly minimum wage is increased to $8.50 from $7.50, and it's adjusted annually for inflation. Proposals to do that are pending in the Legislature.

Business groups say a higher minimum wage could cause job losses.

However, the social advocacy group said Thursday the economy will receive a $67 million boost — creating almost 600 jobs — because New Mexicans will have more money to spend on goods and services.

The study said an hourly wage of $9.25 is needed for a family of three to reach the federal poverty level.

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