1 Oct 2010

Obama signs wage hike deferral bill for two US territories

2:51 pm on 1 October 2010

President Barack Obama has signed into law a US bill passed under urgency delaying further minimum wage increases for American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.

American Samoa is exempt from minimum wage increases for 2010 and 2011, and the CNMI wont' have a 50 cent increase to the minimum wage next year.

Under a federal law passed in 2007 minimum wages in American Samoa and the CNMI had to increase by 50 cents a year until they reached the federal wage of $7.25 an hour.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says the next 50 cent rise was about to take effect tomorrow.

"I talked to one of the business owners, Andy Forsgren, and he said that this is welcome news because what they were looking at was perhaps having to put people off work and they are happy that the President has signed the bill into law."

Monica Miller says it paves the way for a further study into the economic impact of federally mandated minimum wage increases in American Samoa and CNMI.