Arizona’s Minimum Wage set to Increase

Photo by Gage Skidmore

By Kyler Van Vliet

At the start of 2021, Arizona’s minimum-wage will rise to $12.15 an hour, a jump of 15 cents from the current minimum wage of $12.00 an hour.

The rise in pay is due to a 1.3% increase in the cost of living over the past 12 months through August, as reported by the Arizona Republic. 

The Industrial Commission of Arizona oversees the state’s minimum-wage and announced the uptick earlier in September.

Arizona already has one of the highest minimum-wages in the nation after passing the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative in 2016. With increase in pay, Arizona will be tied with Maine for the ninth-highest minimum-wage in the country. 

As for Flagstaff, their minimum-wage will increase from $13 an hour to $15 in January. 

Some workers and businesses are exempt from this pay increase though. That group includes federal workers, Arizona state workers and employees of small businesses with annual revenue below $500,000. Restaurant servers and other employees paid tips can be paid up to $3 less an hour than the minimum-wage, if the tip income makes up the difference in their wages.

Arizona’s hourly minimum-wage jumped 9.09% from $11 in 2019 to $12 in 2020 due to a proposition approved by voters in 2016; the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative, also known as Proposition 206. Before Proposition 206, Arizona’s minimum was $8.05 an hour, but with the initiative’s passage, it increased in 2017 to $10, then to $10.50 in 2018, $11 in 2019 and $12 at the beginning of 2020.