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Minimum Wage Hike Wouldn't Affect Natrona County

"I don't think I could be replace by a drone but some days I could." -Tom Gallagher Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

Seattle's city council approved a minimum wage increase for the city monday. They will gradually increase the wage starting April 2015, until it reaches 15 dollars an hour in 2021.
When seattle's minimum wage reaches 15 an hour... It will be more than double that of wyoming's minimum. But for Natrona County specifically, the minimum wage isn't even relevant.
Tom Gallagher, manager of research and planning for the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, said, "The market has gone beyond the minimum wage."
Andy Losasso, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Casper center manager, said, "Even the entry level positions, many are paying above minimum wage in natrona county currently."
Losasso said this is a function of the types of open jobs and the workers we have available throughout the county.
Losasso said, "The job market here is very competitive, so minimum wage may not attract what an employer might want."
So if most employers in natrona county already pay above the minimum wage, would an income hike real change anything?
Gallagher said, "A policy change of a dollar or two an hour probably isn't going to have much discernible effect."
That may be true for natrona county, but what about the rest of the state?
Gallagher said, "I would guess in most localities in Wyoming, it probably wouldn't have any impact."
However gallagher warns a wage hike could make people unnecessary. He says employees in all fields and levels, not just entry level, may lose their jobs to technology; even himself
Gallagher said, "I don't think I could be replace by a drone but some days I could."
But at the end of the day Gallagher said while technology may be a cheaper alternative; even if there were an increase in the minimum wage, people are ditching the idea of a robotic society.
Gallagher, "That synthetic process doesn't seem as attractive anymore."
According to workforce services staff. Only nine thousand of the 300 thousand workers in Wyoming currently make at or under the federal minimum wage.
Gallagher also says it is important for people to stay up to date with technology and constantly go through retraining in order to stay relevant.


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