January 07. 2014 4:38PM

Minimum wages: The market is raising them in NH

Pushing for a hike in the state minimum wage, organized labor and the state Democratic Party portray a typical minimum-wage worker as a bread winner laboring for a long period of time to feed a family on $7.25 an hour. It is a myth.

Of 370,000 hourly-wage workers in New Hampshire, only 5,000 earn the minimum wage, with 8,000 (wait staff and others exempted from the $7.25 per hour miniumum) earning less, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s 0.035 percent of all hourly wage workers.

The average entry-level wage in the state is $10.33 an hour — 42 percent higher than the minimum. According to the latest state wage data, not a single occupational category in the state has an average entry-level wage of less than $8 an hour. For fast-food cooks it is $8.15 an hour. For counter attendants, cafeteria, concession and coffee shop workers it’s $8.19. The average for fast-food cooks with experience is $10.07 an hour, and for counter attendants, etc., it’s $10.17.

The picture of a bread-winner laboring for years on the minimum wage is a myth. The market is raising entry-level wages well above the minimum, even in this economy. The case for raising the minimum is non-existent.