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Ohio minimum wage set to jump above $10 in 2023

Three $10 bills
Dan Dennis
Three $10 bills

Ohio’s minimum wage will be $10.10 beginning January 1, 2023, which will be the largest increase to the state minimum wage since voters approved a formula that adjusts the hourly wage based on inflation.

The state constitution requires Ohio to raise the minimum wage each year based on the rate of inflation from a 12-month span. The Consumer Price Index from September 2021 through August 2022 was 8.7%. This means the state’s current minimum wage of $9.30 will jump to $10.10 an hour for non-tipped employees and $5.05 an hour for tipped employees.

The 80-cent spike is the largest increase to the state’s minimum wage since the constitutional formula was approved in 2006. And the minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with an annual gross of $371,000 or more a year.

The minimum wage has been a main issue for Nan Whaley, Democratic candidate for Ohio Governor. Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, has called for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour.

Whaley has said too many Ohio families are struggling to make ends meet and face difficult choices in what to pay for, such as car payments or groceries.

“It shouldn’t be this way. The increase Ohio workers are seeing in the minimum wage is a direct result of Ohio voters coming together and demanding change — it’s time for them to do so again. Even with this increase, wages are too low — and that’s why I support a $15 minimum wage so that one good job will finally be enough to provide for you and your family,” Whaley said.

Whaley is running against Mike DeWine, Ohio’s Republican incumbent governor who’s seeking re-election.

On the issue of the latest state increase and if the minimum wage should be higher, DeWine’s spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin said DeWine continues to enforce existing minimum wage laws.

She said DeWine is “laser focused on investing in career education, job training, and workforce development to up-skill Ohio workers — these investments are helping tens of thousands more Ohioans get an education that leads to quality, higher-paying jobs without the expense and debt of having to go college.”

McLaughlin also said that policies passed by Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C. — and supported by Whaley — have led to the growing inflation. That included the American Rescue Plan Act which created $1.9 trillion in federal aid.

Democratic leaders have countered that former President Donald Trump also approved federal aid in the CARES Act. And while DeWine opposed the American Rescue Plan Act while it moved through Congress, Democrats have noted that DeWine is now spending that money.

When the constitutional adjustment based on inflation began, Ohio’s minimum wage was at $7.00. Ten years ago, the minimum wage was at $7.85.

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