Florida’s minimum wage of $8.05 per hour isn’t enough to lift many working families out of poverty, according to a new study.
In fact, it’s so low that it could discourage a second parent in a two-parent family from working because the cost of child care, transportation and other expenses would outweigh earnings. The study comes from the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University.
The federal government puts the poverty line at $24,300 in annual income for a two-parent family with one working parent and two children. In order to hit that target, the working parent would need to earn $11.68 per hour while working 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. That’s well short of Florida’s $8.05 minimum wage, which is tied to inflation and higher than the federal hourly minimum of $7.25.
$8.05 Florida’s hourly minimum wage
Many minimum wage workers in Florida also don’t receive healthcare subsidies because the state opted not to expand Medicaid for low-income residents and they don’t make enough to qualify for tax credits under the Affordable Care Act, the study pointed out.
The wage issue has attracted local leaders’ attention.
In June, Miami Beach’s City Commission voted to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.31 an hour starting in 2018. The hike will hit $13.31 in 2021. But Florida law prohibits counties and cities from setting their own minimums, setting up a potential fight with the state. Some business leaders worry a higher minimum wage will lead to fewer jobs.