Florida's Minimum Wage Increases

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Justin Pierce works at Ole Times Country Buffet in Tallahassee for minimum wage, which has been $6.15 per hour since May 2005.

But starting January 1, 2006, Florida's minimum wage will increase 25 cents an hour to adjust to inflation rates. That means Pierce and others working at or near minimum wage will now make at least $6.40 per hour.

"It'll help us with the bills, you know; we can save a little bit more than what we already is. Because you know, the little bit of money we make, and you know, we budgeting off that. And if we make a little bit more, we'll be able to, you know, do a little bit for ourselves," says Pierce.

Larry Ford earns just above minimum wage, so he'll also make a little more each hour.

He adds, "The way the economy is right now, we need to be at wages where we can be able to live in this world, ‘cause right now the way I'm living, I'm living from check to check, day by day."

The restaurant manager, Bobbie O'Neal, says this increase won't affect them much because most of their employees already make more than minimum wage.

"Some of them have over a period of maybe three or four months already gotten an increase, and we don't really wait until the wage goes up to move our people up. We do it, we do it on their performance," says O'Neal.

But O'Neal also says that some businesses could pass the cost of a wage increase to the consumer. Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2004 that requires this minimum wage adjustment every year.