RGF quoted in Stateline: “Markets drive wages, not government mandates”

After years of phased-in rate hikes, raising New Mexico’s minimum wage doesn’t appear to be on the table for serious discussion in the 2024 session (you never know, however).  The rate was upped to $12 an hour on January 1, 2023. 

But, with rampant inflation and a dearth of available workers, this round of wage hikes has been relatively unnoticed. Making the situation more interesting is (as Stateline reports and quotes RGF’s president) that for relatively low-wage “hospitality” workers across the nation, wages have increased and have even increased faster than those for workers at the upper end of the wage scale. This has happened especially in states without high minimum wages.

Here’s a quote from the article:

The highest wage increases for hospitality workers were in Maine (up 41% over four years), New Jersey (35%), Florida (34%) and Virginia (33%). All are states with a higher minimum wage than the federal floor.

But increases were nearly as high, about 33%, in states without minimum wage boosts, including Idaho, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Simply put, in an inflationary environment with a tight labor market wages are destined to rise.

New Mexico lawmaker proposes $16 minimum wage - KOB.com