Anchorage, Alaska — In the fall of 2018, a worker at a hardware company in Anchorage will have the chance to become one of the first people in the country to get a raise.
But that raises the question: What’s the minimum salary, and how does that change in Alaska?
“That’s one of our biggest challenges in Alaska, right now,” said Lisa Graziano, an economist with the state Department of Labor.
“We’ve got an extremely low minimum wage.”
Graziano and a group of researchers and activists have been working for more than two years to develop a comprehensive minimum wage index to measure the hourly wages paid to workers across the state.
The Alaska Minimum Wage Index was developed by Grazian and her colleagues, who say they are the first to track a full range of hourly wages across Alaska.
Graziani says it takes into account both hourly wages and the amount of time that employees work and the type of work they do.
She says they’re looking for the median wage, the point at which employers can expect to pay a worker.
“The median is really important,” Graziemi said.
It’s really up to the employer to determine what’s in the best interest of their business.””
There are no minimum wage guidelines.
It’s really up to the employer to determine what’s in the best interest of their business.”
The minimum wage in Alaska is set at $11.50 per hour.
A $15-per-hour increase would increase the average wage by $1.60 per hour, and an increase to $20 would raise the average by $3.50.
In 2018, Alaska’s minimum wage was $10.25 per hour with an hourly rate of $9.60.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
The Alaska minimum wage would increase to the average of $14.00 by 2020, and then to $15 per hour by 2022.
Grazian says the minimum hourly wage should be more than $15, and the hourly wage to be above that.
That means, in theory, the average Alaska worker should be making more than the median minimum wage.
“That’s a good target,” Gaziano said.
“We’re really in the process of putting a price on this.
It shouldn’t be a minimum wage of $15 or $20,” Giziano said, referring to the hourly minimum wage set in 2017.”
That should be a standard wage for Alaska that should be the benchmark for the rest of the country.”
Giziano says the index is a way to compare hourly wages in different industries.
In the industrial hardware industry, she says, a minimum-wage worker would be making between $12.50 and $16 per hour depending on what type of hardware they were doing.
“It’s kind of like a barometer for the industry,” Giza said.
Giziana says the Alaska minimum-hour index also provides a way for employers to know how much their employees are earning.
“If they’re making $13 an hour, we don’t know if that’s a really good rate for an hourly worker or a really bad rate for a worker,” Giaziano said.
“The fact that we’re not tracking it, and it’s so complicated, is really what is so frustrating for employers,” Gziano said of her work.
“In this economy, it takes an awful lot of time and effort to get people to work, so it’s important to make sure that our labor market is efficient, so that we don, in fact, attract people that can actually do jobs and pay for themselves.”
So what’s going to happen is we’re going to have to look at the minimum- wage and see if it’s going up,” she said.
“Employers are going to need to adapt, so they’re going have to make adjustments to make the minimum wages work.””
This is an industry that’s been around for decades and decades,” she added.
“Employers are going to need to adapt, so they’re going have to make adjustments to make the minimum wages work.”
Giza says that the minimum for minimum wage workers is $15 an hour because of the high cost of living in Alaska.
In order to provide the minimum, she said, employers have to increase the cost of goods and services in order to offset the wage increases.
Giza said she is optimistic about the index, but that it’s still early days.
“What we’re looking at right now is a baseline, and there are still a lot of variables that need to be taken into account,” Gazi said.
In order to track hourly wages for Alaska, Grazie and the rest will need to gather data on every worker at every hardware company.
They’re also working on a plan for the Alaska Industrial Hardware Index.
“It’s really a big deal,” Gitzi said