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Florida's Minimum Wage Set To Go Up On Jan. 1

Stu Spivack via Flickr

New Year's Day is just around the corner, and that means more money for the lowest-paid workers in Florida.

Starting Jan. 1, the state’s minimum wage will go up by 21 cents, from $8.25 an hour to $8.46 an hour, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. 

The minimum wage for tipped employees will be at least $5.44 an hour, up from $5.23 an hour in 2018.

The 2019 increase marks the biggest change in minimum wage since it rose by 36 cents in 2012, and it's the sixth-largest increase since Florida adopted a state minimum wage in 2004, after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment establishing a state minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage.

But Florida’s minimum wage is still below the national average, and workers’ advocates say $8.46 isn't enough considering rising costs, including housing. 

More from News4Jax: Report: Minimum-wage worker in Florida needs 2.1 full-time jobs to afford a 1-bedroom apartment

Earlier this year, the Sulzbacher Center reported an increase in the number of homeless families, defined as those with at least one adult and one child, coming into the shelter.

The president and CEO pointed to the rising housing costs in Jacksonville, with salaries and income not keeping pace.

Progressives, including Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, have advocated Florida raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, as other states have.

Amazon already plans to do this, and other large corporations are planning to follow suit.

Related: Amazon announces $15 minimum wage for all US employees

The state minimum wage increases because it is tied to inflation. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Employees who are not paid the minimum wage have the right to sue their employer. 

Photo used under Creative Commons license. 

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Garrett Pelican – News4Jax
Ashley Harding – News4Jax
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