Long Since Due: An Increase in New Hampshire’s Minimum Wage

A measure now before the New Hampshire legislature seeks to strengthen the minimum wage and to begin to build an economy that works for everyone in the Granite State. More specifically, HB 1403 would raise New Hampshire’s minimum wage in two steps: from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2015 and to $9.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. The measure would also require automatic annual cost of living adjustments, based on the Consumer Price Index, beginning in 2017.

This paper examines the proposed increase, beginning with a brief review of New Hampshire’s current minimum wage and then exploring how that wage compares to historical minimum wage levels, key standards of need, and other states’ wage floors. It next provides estimates of the number of New Hampshire workers who would be affected by the proposal and discusses some of its broader economic consequences. It concludes that raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage could help working families, local businesses, and the New Hampshire economy as a whole.