By Savannah Higley
As of January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Ohio has gone up by 50 cents. Before this increase, the minimum wage for non-tipped workers was $8.80. The minimum wage for non-tipped workers in 2022 is now $9.30 per hour. Tipped workers have received an increase of $0.25, going from $4.40 to $4.65. This is for workers over 16 years old who are employed at businesses with gross annual receipts of $342,000 per year. Any workers who do not fit this requirement may still be subject to receive the federal minimum wage, which is still $7.25 and has remained unchanged since 2009.
Under the legislation proposed by state senators Cecil Thomas and Hearcel Craig, the minimum wage would not only be raised to $10 for 2022 but get raised every year until it reaches $15/hr in 2027. This year’s raise only went to $9.30/hr but that still makes a large impact on minimum wage workers. And the steady rise to $15 is still in play.
This new requirement could bode poorly for local and small companies, who could struggle to meet the new cost of labor. But raising the minimum wage has seen positive effects on the economy. This raise can boost many families above the poverty line. Higher wages improve employee morale and could inspire more people to seek employment. Higher wages also see an increase in consumer spending. When people are earning more money, they have more money to spend. On the opposite side, employers could start cutting back hours or even jobs to lower the cost of labor, and many employees could lose their jobs. This wage increase could also prompt businesses to raise their prices, causing inflation and making this change essentially useless.
This is a very new change and there hasn’t been enough time to truly gauge how this will affect Ohioans. As the year progresses it will become more apparent if this wage increase will be beneficial or not.