Minimum wage increases 9-cents on New Year's Day for Florida workers

On the first day of the New Year, every minimum wage employee in Florida is getting a raise.

The hourly wage is up 9-cents, bringing it to $8.65 an hour. The same increase applies to tipped employees who will now earn $5.63 an hour.

"The little increase here is no big deal," said Greg Granda, owner of Shakers Restaurant in College Park. "It’s the one that goes into effect I think in September and then every year raises for the next five years."

The next wage increase for 2021 will be on September 30, when employers will have to start paying their workers $10 an hour. He said he worries about what kind of effect these changes will have on his business and employees.

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"Some jobs will probably be eliminated," Granda said.

Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment, which will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2026.

"I think it’s great I think people need a livable wage," Jason Scruggs said. "I mean just in the last ten years the price of living has gone up so much in Orlando. I think they need it."

"I still feel we could do better than that," Josh Christiansen said.

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Some business owners said the hourly wage increase may result in fewer workers being hired. 

"We’re just gonna have to figure out how to be more efficient with our labor and our employees and try to get better productivity out of it," Granda said. "Unfortunately I know prices are gonna go up. There’s no way to avoid that."

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All changes that he said he will have to re-evaluate every year as the hourly wage goes up.

"There’s always gonna be some pros and cons along with any change," Chad Hudson said.

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