MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - With Vermont lawmakers eyeing proposals to raise the state's minimum wage, complaints are coming from some quarters that doing so will cause unemployment to climb.
But the data don't always bear that out. Vermont's minimum wage is $1.48 higher than the federal one, but the state's unemployment rate in December was sixth-tenths of a point lower than the national rate.
Unemployment climbed slightly in Vermont after the state minimum wage was raised in 2007. But the biggest wage boost so far this century, in 2004, was followed by a sixth-tenths of a point drop in the unemployment rate.
None of the previous increases have been as large as what some lawmakers are calling for now. They want to see the wage go from its current $8.73 per hour to $15.00.
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