JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The minimum wage is increasing in Florida at the end of September and many Jacksonville businesses and employers are sounding off about the wage increase.
In the second increase under a 2020 constitutional amendment, Florida’s minimum wage will go to $11 an hour starting Sept. 30. The minimum wage would increase by a dollar each year at the end of September. By Sept. 30, 2026, the minimum wage will be at least $15 an hour in Florida.
News4JAX spoke to local businesses about its opinions on the minimum wage hike, and most businesses said they support the increase.
The owners of a local bakery called Motion Sweets in the Five Points neighborhood said when they had employees -- before the pandemic -- they paid them all $15 an hour. Now, the owners of Motion Sweets are the only ones who run the shop.
The co-owner, Megan Suggs, said it’s important to raise wages to give people an incentive to work.
“A lot of people left the workforce because they weren’t being paid enough, so now they’re trying to start their own businesses,” Suggs said. “A lot of people aren’t willing to work that minimum wage anymore. You can’t survive off that.”
Some stores have already been paying their employees $15 or more. According to an online Aldi application, store associates already make $16.50 per hour.
An economist at Tidal Flow Trading said raising pay is the only way employers are going to hire those people who left the workforce during a pandemic.
“So, that’s where the wage pressure is coming. It’s just when there are not enough workers, one employer is going to have to outbid the other to get those employees. And if they don’t they’re going to go out of business,” Joe Krier said.
According to Krier, Florida has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.