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WGME: Maine Lawmakers Aim to Raise Minimum Wage for Farm Workers

Article published: 14 November 2023

IB Economics Syllabus: Microeconomics (labor markets, government intervention)

In Maine, lawmakers are advocating for an increase in the minimum wage for farm workers, aligning it with the state’s general minimum wage of $13.80 per hour, significantly higher than the current federal minimum of $7.25. This initiative, driven by concerns over long-standing wage inequities and the exclusion of farm workers from many labor protections, aims to address the economic disparities faced by this workforce. The proposed policy change, which is still under legislative consideration, reflects a broader debate on labor rights and economic fairness in sectors traditionally characterized by lower wages.

IB Economics (IA) Commentary Suggestions:

In your IA, you could explore the implications of raising the minimum wage in the agricultural sector. Analyze how this policy might affect the supply and demand for labor in Maine’s farming industry. Use a Labor Market diagram to illustrate potential changes in employment levels and wage rates. Discuss the concept of minimum wage as a form of government intervention and its impact on market outcomes. Consider evaluating the potential trade-offs of such a policy, including the impact on farm employers, employment opportunities for workers, and the overall efficiency of the market. The key concept to focus on is equity, examining how wage adjustments could influence the balance between fair compensation for farm workers and the economic viability of agricultural businesses.

Source of image: WGME

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