BATON ROUGE – More than 1 in 10 Louisiana workers would get a pay raise if Louisiana adopted a $9 per hour minimum wage, according to new data from the Economic Policy Institute. The average pay raise for a worker directly affected by a wage hike is $1,400 – money that would go directly back to local communities in the form of consumer spending.

Senate Bill 155 by Sen. Troy Carter is a constitutional amendment that would establish a $9 per hour wage if it passes the Legislature and wins approval in a statewide referendum.

“We know Louisiana’s economy is improving, but far too many workers aren’t feeling the benefits of that growth because their jobs pay so little,” said Dara Shackelford, economic opportunity analyst at the Louisiana Budget Project. “An increase to $9 per hour would go a long way for a person who is only making $7.25 per hour.”

Raising the state’s minimum wage also could help shrink Louisiana’s shameful gender pay gap. Of the 215,000 residents who would see a raise, almost two-thirds (65 percent) would be women.

A wage hike would pump an additional $189 million a year into Louisiana’s economy. It would especially help workers in retail, food service and healthcare, where low wages are most prevalent.  

“Despite what critics say, an increase in the minimum wage would not lead to job losses,” Shackelford said. “In fact, the opposite would happen, as an increase would make workers less likely to leave their jobs. These dollars would also increase demand in local businesses and increase local revenues, further spurring job growth and the economy.