West Texas has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. So if local businesses want to compete in the job market, they have to be more aggressive to get the sought-after employees.
Russell Johnson, Manager for La Casa Verde Nursery explains, "Well, it really hasn't had that much impact on us, because we have been paying starting employees at more than minimum wage for quite a while now." At any time, they have between 10 and 15 employees on the job.
"We do want to attract quality employees and we do realize our employees do have to make a living and they have families to feed and their expenses, whether it's gasoline or groceries have gone up, so we have to pay more than minimum wage and have for quite a while," Johnson said.
Trish Powell from the Better Business Bureau said the bigger businesses aren't feeling the increase in the minimum wage, but it will to some extent impact the small businesses. "They're going to be impacted the most because that will significantly stretch their budgeting, but they may have already be having problems with it anyways because of the need to hire people at such higher rates," she said.
But Powell also says the minimum wage increase was announced a long time ago, so it gave businesses time to prepare for it.