AMERICAN SAMOA, CNMI WAGE INCREASE ON HOLD

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U.S. to review impacts before decision

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 28, 2009) – The United States Congress is expected to delay the next 50-cent minimum wage increase scheduled in May 2010 to give lawmakers time to review the results of a study on the impact of the wage hikes on the Northern Marianas and American Samoa.

The minimum wage in both countries is to increase 50 cents an hour each May until they reach the minimum wage level of the United States.

A GAO team is currently in American Samoa for the minimum wage study, and similar study will be done in the CNMI.

A U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources staffer, Allen Stayman, told a news conference the results of that study will be considered by Congress and the policy may or may not be changed based on that consideration.

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