Ohio's minimum wage increases again on January 1, 2022
But advocates for the poor say the increase does little to help working, low-income Ohioans.
Ohio’s minimum wage is increasing/has increased on January 1st to $9.30 an hour. That’s 50 cents more an hour than in 2021.
Still, Policy Matters Ohio Executive Director Hannah Halbert says the new minimum wage is about half of what low-wage workers need to actually be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment and basic necessities.
“That increase is just keeping folks tacked to inflation,” Halbert says.
Halbert credits that increase to a voter-approved initiative in 2006 designed to allow the minimum wage to keep up with inflation over time. But she says a real increase is needed in the minimum wage.
Halbert says someone earning minimum wage for 40 hours a week would make about $19,000 – still below the federal poverty level for a family of three. She says most minimum wage jobs do not allow workers to get to 40 hours a week. But even if they do, Halbert says recent studies show vast disparities between what average workers make and the people at the top of companies.
“Working people are getting short-changed while CEO’s are raking it in,” Halbert says.
Halbert says in 2020, the average CEO of top Ohio employers made 322 times what the average worker in those businesses earned.