We have just completed a scoping project regarding potential changes to the minimum wage in St. Paul. Commissioned by the Saint Paul Foundation, we began our work in November of 2017, identifying key questions, assessing data and research, and identifying key stakeholders surrounding this potential effort in St. Paul.
The Pioneer Press has highlighted the report in a recent news piece: New report on minimum wage in St. Paul lays out the stakes.
Among the issues raised: Would the wage increase impact the public benefits that people on public assistance currently receive? How many low-income people will not benefit because they live in St. Paul but work elsewhere? And how many people might benefit who live elsewhere but work in St. Paul?
The piece summarizes key findings laid out in the report:
– Most of St. Paul’s large employers such as Allina Health, Ecolab, HealthPartners and Securian already pay the majority of their workers at least $15 per hour. Private colleges do the same for full-time employees but not for part-time student workers, who earn about $10.
– Nonprofits that employ disabled people at a special wage that is at or below the statewide minimum worry they will not be able to cover increased costs. They said lay-offs would disrupt their staff-to-client ratios, losing them clients.
– Some franchise and small business owners such as bookstores said their prices were set by publishers and national brands, so they cannot raise prices to cover increased labor costs.
– Without an exemption for young people, a small, family-run restaurant worried about no longer being able to afford to pay summer youth.