On Jan. 1, Arizona’s minimum wage was raised to $11 per hour from the previous $10.50 per hour, while Alaska’s minimum wage was raised to $9.89 per hour, from the previous $9.84 per hour. This resulted in Arizonans working at minimum wage receiving a 50-cent raise, while Alaskans received a five-cent raise. There is something wrong with this picture, considering Alaska’s cost of living is considerably higher than it is in Arizona, which like Alaska, is a conservative state.
Arizona’s economy is growing and its unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, compared to Alaska’s 6.7 percent rate, which is the highest in the nation. From July 2017 to July 2018, Alaska saw a decrease in population of approximately .02 percent, while Arizona’s population increased by almost 2 percent. Alaska’s crime rates have been increasing over the past few years, while Arizona’s crime rates have decreased during the same time period.
At the end of the day, if you want to stimulate the economy, while at the same time decreasing the crime rate of our great state, which the new administration has promised to achieve, then you need to pay Alaska’s citizens accordingly — by substantially increasing Alaska’s minimum wage.
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.