Ohio’s minimum wage workers receive a 15-cents-an-hour raise — to $8.30 an hour — to mark the new year.
The progressive policy group Policy Matters Ohio told the Columbus Dispatch the adjustment is meant to keep up with inflation, but it still will leave minimum-wage Ohioans to struggle.
The raise “will help poor working Ohioans, but $8.30 per hour still leaves a full-time worker about $3,000 short of the poverty line for a family of three,” Policy Matters researcher Michael Shields said in a statement. The federal poverty line for a family of three is $20,420.
Shields said the state should instead consider phasing in a $15-per-hour minimum wage.
The adjustment in the minimum wage was set up by a 2006 constitutional amendment in Ohio that indexes increases in the minimum wage to the previous year’s inflation rate. The increase boosts the state’s minimum wage to more than $1 an hour above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
The increase is expected to generate $106 million in additional income for Ohio’s minimum-wage workers in 2018.
“This boost is good for Ohio’s economy, since low-income earners are likely to spend their raises to cover the basics,” Shields said.
Ohio’s sub-minimum wage — which applies to employees who make at least $30 a month in tips — increases 7 cents an hour, to $4.15 an hour plus tips.