The Minimum Wage in Florida Will Increase in 2024, and for Some Workers It Will Be Even Higher


Florida is one of few states with a higher minimum wage than the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. In 2020, voters adopted a constitutional amendment mandating yearly increases in the state’s minimum wage until it hits $15 per hour in 2026.

The next increase is set for September 30, 2024, when the minimum wage will be raised to $13 per hour for normal workers and $9.98 per hour for tipped workers. This essay will discuss why this rise occurred, the benefits and problems it presents to workers and companies, and the future forecast for Florida’s minimum wage.

Why is the Minimum Wage Rising in Florida?

Florida’s minimum wage rise is part of a national campaign to raise the wage floor for low-income workers. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a $15 minimum wage would raise millions of workers out of poverty, reduce income inequality, and increase consumer spending. Supporters of the raise believe that the present minimum wage does not cover many workers’ basic living expenditures, particularly in high-cost locations. They also argue that hiking the minimum wage will increase workers’ health, well-being, and productivity while reducing their need for public assistance programs.

Read more: Massachusetts’s Minimum Wage Increase Causes Massive Health Care Layoffs

Opponents of the hike argue that raising the minimum wage would have a detrimental impact on the economy, including job losses, decreased hours, higher costs, and poorer profits. They also emphasize that the minimum wage is not intended to be a living income, but rather a starting point for entry-level employees. They argue that instead of boosting the minimum wage, the government should prioritize extending education, training, and tax breaks for low-income workers.

The minimum wage topic is not new, but it has gained traction in recent years, with some states and localities enacting or proposing considerable hikes. Florida is one of eight states that have approved legislation or ballot initiatives to progressively raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026 or earlier. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York round up the group.

How Will Florida’s Minimum Wage Increase Affect Workers and Employers?

The minimum wage rise in Florida will have varying effects on workers and firms based on their sector, region, and size. The Florida Policy Institute estimates that by 2026, the rise will benefit around 2.5 million workers or 26% of the state’s workforce.

Most of these jobs are in the service industry, such as food preparation, retail, health care, and education. The bulk of them are women, persons of color, and individuals over 25 years old. These workers’ average yearly salary is around $24,000, which is below the poverty level for a family of four.

For these individuals, the minimum wage hike will entail a big gain in their incomes and spending power. The Florida Policy Institute forecasts that by 2026, the hike will provide an additional $7.5 billion in salaries for low-income workers, which will in turn stimulate the local economy and create more employment.

The rise will help narrow the pay disparity between low- and high-income workers, men and women, and white and non-white workers. Additionally, the rise will benefit the health and well-being of workers and their families, as they will be able to afford better food, housing, health care, and education. For companies, the minimum wage hike will provide some obstacles and possibilities.

Also read: Arizona’s Minimum Wage Increase Causes Massive Layoffs for Health Care Workers

On the one hand, firms will confront increasing labor expenses, which may require them to eliminate positions, hours, or perks, or raise prices to retain their profitability. This may have a greater impact on small enterprises and labor-intensive sectors than large corporations and capital-intensive ones.

On the other side, companies may profit from fewer turnover, improved productivity, and increased customer satisfaction, since workers will be more motivated, loyal, and efficient. Employers may also be able to attract and keep more competent and varied workers, as the minimum wage will be more competitive with other states and areas.

What is the Future of the Minimum Wage in Florida?

Florida’s minimum wage will rise until it hits $15 per hour in 2026, after which it will be adjusted yearly for inflation. This implies that the minimum wage will keep up with growing living costs while maintaining a fair wage norm for workers.

However, the minimum wage may not be adequate to fulfill the demands of all workers, especially in places with high expenses of living. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the living wage for a single adult in Florida is $14.82 per hour, and for a family of four with two working adults, it is $19.06 per hour. These estimates are greater than Florida’s existing and anticipated minimum wages, which vary by county and city.

Therefore, workers may still struggle to make ends meet, and employers may still confront labor shortages or surpluses, depending on the local market conditions. To solve these concerns, some supporters recommend instituting a regional or local minimum wage that reflects the diverse economic realities of different places.

Also read: Minimum Wage in Washington Will Increase in 2024, and for Some Employees, It Will Rise Even Further

For example, certain cities in California, New York, and Washington have adopted or proposed higher minimum wages than the state level, ranging from $16 to $20 per hour. However, this strategy may result in administrative and regulatory problems, as well as competitive disadvantages for some firms and employees.

Another alternative is to complement the minimum wage with other policies and programs that benefit low-income workers and companies, such as tax credits, subsidies, training, education, health care, child care, and transportation. These initiatives would help workers enhance their income and skills, lower their expenditures and impediments, and improve their quality of life. They would also assist firms to cut their personnel expenses, raise their productivity and creativity, and enhance their social responsibility and reputation.


In conclusion, Florida’s progressive minimum wage raise is meant to reduce income inequality and improve the economic well-being of workers. It has caused a lot of discussion about how it will affect companies and the economy as a whole. The change is expected to be good for low-income workers, but it will be hard for companies, especially in industries that need a lot of workers. As Florida deals with this change in wages, it will be important to keep regional differences and similar support programs in mind to keep the economy stable and balanced.

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