Jan 6, 2023 - News

New Year, more money: Florida halfway to $15 minimum wage goal

Data: Economic Policy Institute; Note: Hawaii and Florida increases took effect in October 2022; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

As minimum wage workers around the nation get a raise in the new year, Florida is halfway to its $15 goal.

State of play: Florida increased its minimum wage in the fall by $1, so 987,000 workers β€” 11% of the workforce β€” started making $11/hour.

  • They'll get another bump to $12 in September.

Yes, but: Some Central Florida tourism workers say that's not enough to meet rising costs.

  • Some members of Local 737, which represents thousands of workers at six tourism companies in Central Florida, asked for at least an $18/hour minimum wage in contract negotiations in November to account for increasing rent, food and gas prices.
  • Walt Disney World workers, who currently get $15/hour, are in the midst of negotiations for $20.

The big picture: Minimum wage hikes in 23 states and Washington, D.C. went into effect this week, Axios' Emily Peck reports.

  • The biggest factor driving national increases was inflation. Thirteen states tie their minimum wage rate to the Consumer Price Index, as Wolters Kluwer notes in a new analysis.
  • Florida and a handful of other states had increases set by legislation or ballot initiatives.

Flashback: Florida voters approved a mandate in 2020 to make the minimum wage $15 by 2026 β€” so it will increase by a dollar on Sept. 30 every year until then.

  • Starting in 2027, the minimum wage will be adjusted each year for inflation.

Zoom out: While the federal wage floor remains $7.25, a growing number of states already have minimum wages of at least $15 an hour, including Washington ($15.74), California ($15.50) and Massachusetts ($15).

  • More states will reach $15 an hour before Florida, including Connecticut (June 2023), New Jersey (2024) and Illinois (2025).

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