Minimum wage increase could affect smaller cities across New Mexico

New Mexico

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – With the new year comes a new minimum wage, $9 an hour. While it won’t affect cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe that already have a higher wage, it could change things for smaller places around the state.

The new minimum wage is set to jump from $7.50 an hour to $9 an hour beginning January 1. The bump means prices could go up, but residents hope there won’t be too big of a change.

“I don’t think it would effect us as far as having to pay a little more for milk, gas, and groceries,” said Mary Wygocki-McClure.

Some restaurants are adding touchscreens to take orders and machines to make drinks to cut down on costs. A McDonald’s franchise owner believes the pay hike will have some consequences.

“First is automation, second is a smaller workforce–smaller, more dynamic–and lastly, we will pass on some of the costs of the higher labor to the consumer,” said Nick Snowburger.

But for a lot of people, it’s worth it.

“I think it would be beneficial for the kids struggling that are trying to make minimum wage, trying to pay rent, do groceries. You know, provide for their children. I think it’s a good thing,” said Mary.

KRQE News 13 spoke with a handful of small local businesses that said they already pay more than the new minimum wage. They did express concerns that in the future, even higher wages could keep them from hiring more workers or expanding.

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