Florida minimum wage rises to $8.46, but Tampa Bay residents still can’t live on that

It’s the most dramatic increase since 2012.

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click to enlarge Starting in 2019, Florida minimum wage workers will earn 21 more pennies an hour. - Roman Oleinik [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
Roman Oleinik [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons
Starting in 2019, Florida minimum wage workers will earn 21 more pennies an hour.

Come next year, Florida workers making minimum wage are getting a raise from $8.25 to $8.46 an hour. Tipped employees will see their wages go from $5.23 to $5.44 an hour. The raise — 21 cents — is, somehow, the biggest increase in the state minimum wage since 2012.

While the Sunshine State’s minimum wage is more than a dollar higher than the federal rate ($7.25 per hour), the increase still feels like an insult to a working class that flirts with poverty on a daily basis.

Our friends at Orlando Weekly put the increase into perspective by pointing out that the 21 cent boost adds an extra $437 annually.

If you work 40 hours per week, $8.46 an hour equals about $17,597 before the tax man touches it. If you made $15, then that annual total goes up to about $31,200 a year before taxes.

The federal poverty level is $25,100.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, someone making the current minimum wage in the Tampa Bay area — where 36 percent of households are renters — would have to work 84 hours each week to afford a modest one-bedroom rental home at fair market rent.

The same study found that renters in the Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater area need to make at least $14.71 an hour ($30,600 a year) to afford even the most basic studio apartment. Don’t forget about other essentials like food, healthcare, transportation, daycare, savings and more.

So yeah, thanks for raise, Tallahassee, but, um, seriously?

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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