BOSTON (CBS) — The state’s minimum wage increased on New Year’s Day. It jumped from $12 per hour to $12.75. By 2023 it will be up to $15 per hour.
“Restaurants are, you know, one of the biggest employers in the country, but they’re also the biggest employers at the minimum wage level,” said restaurant owner Josh Lewin.
Lewin is co-founder of Juliet in Somerville where every employee starts out at $15 an hour. He’s a strong supporter of the minimum wage increase.
“There is a bridge that has to be built over that divide because if people aren’t earning living wages, you shouldn’t be running a profitable business,” said Lewin.
More than 400,000 workers will get the raise, but not everyone is in favor.
“Every time the minimum wage increases, it becomes very hard for small businesses to keep their doors opens,” said Christopher Carlozzi.
Christopher Carlozzi is the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. He said the higher wage could force job cuts and make it harder for young people to enter the workplace.
“When you’re paying that entry-level worker $12.75, then you have to pay the people who have been there longer more, so oftentimes, as the whole pay scale increases across the board, it becomes harder to hire that person,” said Carlozzi.