The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has had to proceed with this year's federally mandated 50 cent increase to minimum wages.
The United States President has now signed into law the bill delaying further minimum wage increases for American Samoa and Northern Marianas until 2012.
The move gives time for an in-depth study into the economic impacts of the minimum wage hikes.
Our correspondent in Saipan, Mark Rabgo, says its unfortunate the law change came a day late for the CNMI.
"Well it hasn't sunk in yet. Were still trying to swallow the 50 cent increase that happened so from $4.55 our lowest paid workers are now getting paid $5.05 per hour. It may come as welcome relief for businesses that are already gearing up and already fearing the worst for next year in September 2011."