By Bob Salsberg, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts business leaders are signaling possible support for an increase in the state’s $8 per hour minimum wage, but only if it is coupled with business-friendly reforms in the state’s unemployment insurance system.

The state Senate approved a stand-alone bill last week that would raise the minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2016.

Massachusetts High Technology Council president Christopher Anderson said after a meeting with House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Monday that lawmakers have an opportunity to fix what he calls a broken unemployment insurance system that saddles Massachusetts business leaders with the second-highest payroll taxes in the nation.

Anderson said a survey found employers overwhelmingly opposed to a stand-alone minimum wage increase, but more than two-thirds said they could support a hike that was tied to unemployment insurance changes.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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