Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour on Sept. 30, as the state continues carrying out a constitutional amendment that eventually will lead to a $15 minimum wage.
Voters in 2020 approved the constitutional amendment, which was spearheaded by prominent Orlando lawyer John Morgan. The minimum wage went to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021, and $11 on Sept. 30, 2022. It is required to increase by $1 each year until it hits $15 an hour on Sept. 30, 2026.
After that, it will increase based on inflation. The minimum wage for tipped employees will go to $8.98 an hour this year, as employers can take what is known as a “tip credit” of $3.02, according to information on the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association website. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Despite previous increases, median pay in Florida, in 2022, remained among the lowest in the nation, at $19.62, placing the state 13th from the bottom in wages. Some cities, like Miami, have living wage ordinances, requiring the minimum wage to be at $15.03 for workers who get health benefits, and at $18.73 for those who don’t. GOP legislators earlier this week attempted to ban such living wage ordinances. The bill died.
Chambers of commerce and Republican lawmakers have routinely claimed that higher minimum wages would hurt workers, cut back their hours, increase unemployment, or shutter small businesses. Those fears have not materialized in Florida.
As Robert Reich, the former treasury secretary, has argued, “an abundance of research shows that increases in the minimum wage do not reduce the overall number of jobs. Researchers examined 138 state-level minimum wage increases and found that the number of low-wage jobs remained essentially unchanged in the five years after the minimum wage increase, but paid more (See: Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs*). That’s a job upgrade, not a job loss, and multiple studies have come to the same conclusion.”
–FlaglerLive and News Service of Florida