US Virgin Islands prepares for minimum wage increase

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands says it will soon increase the minimum wage to $8.35 an hour.

Labor Commissioner Catherine Hendry said Wednesday that the increase will be effective June 21. Another increase to $9.50 is scheduled for June 2017 and a final increase to $10.50 is slated for June 2018. The U.S. territory's current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Hendry says tourist service employees and restaurant workers are exempt from the increases.

Legislators last year pushed for the increase despite concerns it might force some local businesses to close because of the weak economy. Supporters argued that the minimum wage has not kept up with cost of living increases.