Minnesota’s State Minimum Wage Gets Automatic Hike

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MDLI) announced Thursday that the state’s minimum wage rates for large and small businesses will be increased on Jan. 1, 2018.

The increase reflects requirements in Minnesota’s law that the statewide minimum wage be adjusted for inflation annually from 2018 onward. Prior to 2014 the state’s minimum wage was just $5.25 an hour. Then the state legislature passed a law that raised the minimum wage for large employers to $8 an hour on Aug. 1, 2014, $9 an hour the same date in 2015, and $9.50 an hour in 2016.

The increases for small employers saw their minimum wage hit $6.50 an hour on Aug. 1, 2014, $7.25 in 2015, and $7.75 on in 2016.

This first increase based on inflation will now see minimum wage for large employers hit $9.65, while the rates for smaller employers, training periods, and minors will rise to $7.87.

The most recent minimum wage hike prior to 2014 was in 2005, when the minimum wage increased just 35 cents from $4.90 to $5.25 an hour. The current automatic increase for larger employers is nearly half of that. Increases in upcoming years, depending on the percentage of inflation, could come to eclipse the 2005 hike, all without further action to approve such hikes by the state legislature.

“Our state and nation were founded on the belief that hard work and opportunity should go hand in hand. Raising the minimum wage will help make this value a reality for thousands of Minnesotans, many of them people of color and women with children,” Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said in a press release. “This increase is good news and we have more work to do so that all Minnesotans can earn their way to economic security for themselves and their families.”

Alpha News previously reported that increased minimum wages not only have the potential to cost people their jobs, but those who keep their jobs may actually see smaller amounts of take home pay in a given month. In Seattle the change from $11 an hour to $13 an hour cost low-wage workers an average of $125 a month as their hours shrunk.

Anders Koskinen