What to expect from Florida’s new minimum wage increase

A photo of poverty in America captured by Poverty in America Documentary 2017

On Nov. 3, a night anxiously awaited by citizens across the county, Florida voters approved the passing of Amendment 2. 

According to Ballotpedia, Amendment 2 states that the minimum wage in Florida will be raised to $10 per hour effective Sept. 30, 2021. Each Sept. 30 thereafter, the state’s minimum wage will increase by $1 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour on Sept. 30, 2026. 

Raising the minimum wage has a long history of support and opposition. The last time Florida had the minimum wage on the ballot was in 2004 when voters approved a minimum wage to start at $6.15.

A super-vote majority of 60% was required in order for  amendment 2 to pass, and 60.8% of Floridians voted for this constitutional amendment, making Florida the only state with a constitutionally mandated minimum wage.  

For many leading companies, this amendment had no effect on their way of business. 

Amazon, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods and many others have already shifted their wages to $15 an hour. Amazon started paying its employees at least $15 an hour in 2018. 

The Florida Chamber of Commerce, whose members and partners have been fighting for greater economic opportunity and job creation since 1916, said that this amendment would cripple the economy. 

The chamber shared in a recent press release that this amendment will cause Florida to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, drive up inflation, and cost Florida more than $700 million in lost revenue. 

With small business being forced to pay their employees more, this could have a negative impact on their establishment, according to the chamber. 

A study by the Congressional Budget Office estimated that raising the  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide will potentially bring 17 million people out or poverty, but, it would also lead to 1.3 million job losses. 

Forbes shares that an estimated 200,000 Florida residents currently live on the state minimum wage of $8.56. At this wage, it makes it nearly impossible to live comfortably. The cost of living continues to gradually increase, and the minimum wage does not. 

Here is what the minimum wage increase will look like, according to Ballotpedia:

$10 on Sept. 30, 2021

$11 on Sept. 30, 2022

$12 on Sept. 30, 2023

$13 on Sept. 30, 2024

$14 on Sept. 30, 2025 and

$15 on Sept. 30, 2026