By Corinne Murdock |
Come January, Flagstaff will increase its minimum wage from $15.50 to $16.80 an hour, and from $13 to 14.80 an hour for tipped employees.
Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy shared the news on Tuesday.
The city factors minimum wage based on cost of living in addition to inflation. In 2016, Flagstaff voters approved Proposition 414, a measure raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour last year and ensuring annual adjustments for inflation and cost of living every year thereafter. The city’s minimum wage must be at least $2 above the state’s minimum wage.
Prop 414 also ensures that hourly tipped minimum wage will be the same as hourly minimum wage by 2026.
It’s anticipated that the state will increase minimum wage to $13.85 an hour, just over a $1 increase from the current $12.80 minimum wage.
Despite criticism that the minimum wage would exacerbate unemployment, Deasy shared in March that unemployment rates have halved since 2016.
Those unemployment rates may reflect the hiring and growth of big box and chain stores, in turn masking the suffering of small businesses.
Several small businesses were vocal about experiencing the brunt of Flagstaff’s minimum wage increases. About a month before the pandemic occurred, small business owners reported that they’d resorted to reducing their number of employees and their hours of operation.
The Flagstaff City Council has also considered a minimum wage increase for its city employees. They haven’t voted on an increase yet.
Deasy has petitioned the council to increase city employees’ minimum wage, initially asking for $17 an hour but settling for slightly less, $16.60 an hour.