Florida workers see 15 cent increase in minimum wage

By Jason Lanning, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, January 01, 2018, 5:20 PM EST

Minimum wage workers in Florida are celebrating the new year with a pay bump, but most say it won't do much to change their families' bottom line.

  • Minimum wage now $8.25, up from $8.10
  • Sen. Nelson calls for larger increase
  • Cost of Florida living expected to jump 2 percent

Effective Monday, Florida's minimum wage increases to $8.25 an hour, up from $8.10 in 2017.

The increase only adds $6 per week in additional income for a worker that works a typical 40-hour work week.

That amount is before taxes.

"I do a lot. You know I constantly work, try to take care of my family, but you know it's still just hard these days," said Curtis Frazier, a fast food worker in Pinellas County.

Frazier says any little wage increase helps, but the scheduled minimum wage bump for 2018 may only help him put a couple of extra gallons of gas in his car per week.

"They don't understand how much we've got work to make our lives better," he said.

Sen. Bill Nelson spoke out about the minimum wage increase last week, saying Florida workers deserve better.

"It needs to go higher. It needs to go at least to about $11 or $12," Nelson said.

Nelson is among dozens of lawmakers that say minimum wage in Florida falls well behind the cost of living increases from year to year.

In 2018, Florida's cost of living is expected to jump an estimated 2 percent, while the minimum wage increase is only 1.85 percent.

Eighteen states and 20 cities will see minimum wage increases nationwide in 2018.

The biggest wins are heading to workers in Sunnyvale, Calif., that get a bump to $15 an hour.

Workers in Seattle that are employed by companies with staff sizes of more than 501 employees become the top paid minimum wage workers in the U.S., topping out at $15.45 per hour.