Alaska’s minimum wage goes up 50 cents on New Year’s Day, to $7.75 an hour. This is the second increase since state lawmakers approved the raise in April. In July, the minimum wage went up 10 cents to match the federal rate. The increase is the first since 2003, when Alaska’s minimum wage jumped $1.50 to $7.15 cents an hour. Five years later that was worth about $6.22 an hour, considering inflation. State economist Brian Rae says even at the new rate, the real earning power is quite a bit less than $7.50.
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
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