Why a Minimum Wage?


"Time to Repair the Florida Wage Floor" prepared by the Economic Policy Institute. The study examines the minimum wage workforce in Florida and the benefits they would receive. The study also looks at wage trends and the economic impact of previous minimum wage increases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people say Florida needs a state minimum wage?

Working at the minimum wage 40 hours per-week, every week, all year, brings in $10,712. This is not fair pay for a hard-working American. The federal minimum wage used to be fairer, but as prices have gone up, the minimum wage hasn't. If the federal minimum wage had been increased to keep up with rising prices over the last 25 years, it would now bring in $15,431 per-year-not $10,712. It's not fair that the minimum wage has not been increased to keep up with rising prices.

At what level do you want to set the minimum wage?

We are proposing to set the minimum wage at $6.15 per hour with indexing to inflation. This would allow for the minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living, instead of falling behind as it has now.

When would this go into effect?

The law would go into effect January 1, 2005 setting the minimum wage at $6.15 per hour. The wage would then be reevaluated annually based on the rate of inflation.

Have other states set minimum wages higher than the federal level?

Yes, 12 states and Washington, DC have minimum wages that are above the federal rate with the highest being $7.15 in Alaska, $7.01 in Washington and $6.90 in Connecticut and Oregon.

How many workers would benefit from an increase in Florida minimum wage to $6.15 an hour?

Over 600 thousand workers would be affected both directly and indirectly. 300 thousand workers would benefit directly from this raise. In addition, studies have shown that those workers earning as much as one dollar above the new minimum wage can also benefit-because with workers starting at the minimum wage, more experienced workers have to be paid more. Most (over 75%) of the workers who would benefit directly are adults.

If I'm not a low wage worker, than why should I support an increase in the minimum wage? Won't this force bosses to layoff workers?

Raising wages helps the economy by putting more money in peoples' pockets, meaning more spendable income. A minimum wage worker would get a raise of $2000 per year that will then help support businesses. Virtually every reputable economic study has found that workers don't get fired when minimum wages are passed or increased. You may hear of studies that claim there are job losses, but these are generally paid for by corporations that pay very low wages, don't want to pay their wage earners more, and are fighting the minimum wage.