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New year ushers in another pay raise for Arizona workers

New year ushers in another pay raise for Arizona workers

Starting today, people earning the minimum wage will see their pay increased to $11 per hour from $10.50.

This is the third of four pay hikes for the state's lowest paid workers since 2016 when voters approved a plan to eventually raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour in 2020.

Voters approved Proposition 206 two years ago by a wide margin (58 percent to 41 percent) despite warnings from opponents the move will slow Arizona's economy.

Currently, there are no apparent signs the pay raise has done so.

Arizona's unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, which is where it stood in November 2016.

At the same time, Arizona's hourly workers have seen their wages go up on average.

When voters approved Prop. 206, the average hourly rate for workers in the state was $24.26 per hour, according to state records.

Workers now make $25.85 per hour on average, a gain of nearly $1.60 per hour or more than $3,300 more per year for employees working 40 hours a week.

By comparison, the additional 50 cents for minimum wage workers means they will make an extra $1,040 a year, if they are working full time.

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