Keeping close eye on minimum wage

Apr 18, 2021

I introduced H.R. 2602, the Northern Mariana Islands Wage and Economic Stability Act, to protect the Marianas from wage increases our economy cannot absorb. Unlike the rest of the nation, where the minimum wage has been static since 2008 and is due for an increase, the minimum in the Marianas has more than doubled since then to reach the federal level of $7.25/hr.

This increase benefited thousands of Marianas families and encouraged more U.S. workers to join the workforce. But I had to manage it legislatively year-by-year based on economic analysis from the Government Accountability Office.

That strategy was successful. Wages doubled without job loss. In fact, more jobs than ever began to pay more than minimum wage. I continue to support raising workers wages, as long as we do so with a close eye on economic conditions in our islands.

If the national minimum is increased, my new bill will provide Congress with the necessary analytical tools and the time to fit that increase to conditions in the Marianas.