Florida’s minimum wage is set to increase from $8.10 to $8.25 per hour. The bump amounts to about 2%, making it a minuscule nudge in the push to reach $15/hour by 2020.
Far ahead of the state, major employers such as Target and Disney have raised their wages to $11 and $10 per hour minimum. Wawa pays their employees a minimum of $10 per hour as well.
Disney argues its average salary actually equates to about $13.34 an hour with overtime and premium pay.
Tipped employees will also notice a small raise in minimum wage – from $5.08 to $5.23, another 15-cent notch.
The state of Florida uses a math formula to calculate the annual increase in minimum wage. The formula is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to Sept. 1.
Labor markets in Florida can not be easily compared with other states, nor can the South Florida market be compared to local markets around the U.S. For example, a $15/hour minimum in Los Angles would not go as far as $15/hour in rural North Florida.
Some economists fear that the push for raising the minimum wage to $15/hour may have employers opting to replace human employees with technology.
Touch screen check-out lanes are becoming an increasingly popular choice to replace cashiers. And this is not just happening at the supermarket. The self-serve checkouts are making their way into more and more retail outlets.
The move from in-store retail to on-line retail has reduced the need for service employees and further reduced costs by eliminating brick and mortar retail stores’ overhead.
Ironically, empty mall buildings are reportedly being purchased by Amazon, the leader in online retail. The giant is opening new fulfillment centers at a record pace and are said to be eyeing the defunct malls as future centers as well.
As the battle to raise minimum wage continues, each of Florida’s Democratic Governor candidates have drawn plans to get to the magical $15/hour. The subject remains controversial with lawmakers concerned that the raise could adversely affect the economy and drive up prices of common goods and services, making the cost of living increase rapidly.