Arkansas workers say minimum wage increase will help

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — The New Year means a pay raise for minimum wage workers in Arkansas, and many are looking forward to seeing the change.

On Tuesday, the Arkansas Minimum wage will go up from $8.50 and hour to $9.25. Voters made their voices heard back in November by getting the increase approved.

Leslie Chandler is one of the friendly faces you'll see when you step inside of Big Star Supermarket in West Memphis. Lately, she's got even more pep in her step because in just a few days she'll be making more money.

"Who wouldn't be excited to get more money? Come on now, that is a blessing," she said. "It's going to help everybody. I mean everybody."

For Chandler the extra on her check goes a long way. She says it'll help switch people over from struggling to thriving.

"If you are working 12 hours a day it makes a difference."

And this is just the beginning — the next year minimum wage will increase to $10 an hour and in 2021 it'll reach $11 an hour.

That's a big jump for those relying on minimum wage jobs to get by.

Nearly 70,000 people voted throughout the state to make the increase possible and Chandler sees it as an incentive to get more people employed.

"That also makes people want to work," she said. "People don't want to work for a little or nothing, especially young people."

The state's last minimum wage increase came in 2017, when it was set at $8.50.

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