Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Happy New Year! NM minimum wage rises to $ 11.50

Ricky Serna, Acting Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

Copyright © 2021

New Mexico will usher in the new year with a further increase in the minimum wage.

Starting Saturday, the state’s general hourly minimum wage will increase from $ 10.50 per hour to $ 11.50 per hour. For tipped workers, the minimum wage will increase to $ 2.80 an hour before tipping, down from $ 2.55 an hour in 2021. State law requires that the tip plus employee wages be at least 11, $ 50 per hour.

Ricky Serna, acting cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, said the increase in the minimum wage will allow New Mexico workers to put more money back into the local economy while reducing reliance on government benefit programs.

Under the new wage, Serna said, an employee who earns a minimum wage at 40 hours a week would earn an additional $ 173 a month before taxes.

“So I think that raising the minimum wage will have another positive impact on the state,” said Serna.

The increase is the latest incremental increase as part of an amendment to the state minimum wage law signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019. The change sees a gradual increase in the state minimum wage from $ 7.50 an hour to $ 12 an hour before 2023.

“It responsibly increases this minimum wage over time,” said Serna.

Individual municipalities can demand local minimum wages that are higher than the national wage.

Serna said only Santa Fe and Santa Fe Counties, each with a local minimum wage of $ 12.10 an hour, have ordinances setting the minimum wage at a higher rate than the statewide rate in 2022.

Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and Las Cruces each have local ordinances setting their minimum wages but must raise the minimum wage in 2022 to meet the change’s requirements, Serna said.

Among New Mexico’s neighbors, Arizona ($ 12.80 an hour) and Colorado ($ 12.56 an hour) will each have higher minimum wages in 2022, according to a list from the National Labor Rights Center. Oklahoma, Texas and Utah have each set minimum wages of $ 7.25, according to the center.

The increase will help New Mexico minimum wage workers keep pace with the rising cost of goods and services. The jump represents a 9.5% increase in the minimum wage compared to the 6.8% year-over-year increase in the consumer price index in November.

Serna conceded that inflation and labor shortages drove wages high for many New Mexico employers in 2021, but said the higher rate provides protection for workers if broader economic trends change over the next year.

“This really ensures … a higher base wage for the workers in case things go in the opposite direction in the near future,” Serna said.

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