Florida's minimum wage up to $8.05/hour on Jan. 1

20 states hike minimum wage in new year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Minimum wage in Florida will rise 12 cents on Jan. 1, reaching $8.05 an hour.

The change will benefit an estimated 364,000 low-wage workers in the state.The new minimum wage for tipped employees must be at least $5.03 an hour.

"This will be good for lower-rate wage workers who are really struggling," said Joe Krier, of Krier Wealth Management. "With minimum wage around $8 an hour, it's pretty tough to pay the bills with that. The average wage in the United States is closer to $24 an hour, so there's a pretty wide spread there."

Voters in 2004 approved a constitutional amendment that established a minimum wage for the state. The amendment requires that the hourly wage be readjusted each year based on the rate of inflation.

Since voters approved the amendment the state's minimum wage has gone up by nearly $3.

Krier said the increase is so little it shouldn't hit business owners too hard.

"Of course their cost of labor goes up, but really not by that much," Krier said. "And there is some offset because it's additional dollars circulating through the Florida economy."

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Nineteen other states will also raise their minimum wage with the new year, ranging from $7.50 in Arkansas to $10.50 in the District of Columbia.

The new rates will boost wages for 3.2 million workers.

Some Democratic legislators have proposed raising the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, but the proposals have been rejected by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature.

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