Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Minimum wage in Las Cruces raised above state rate

A raise to the minimum wage in Las Cruces city limits went into effect Jan. 1 requiring employers to pay $12.36 minimum hourly wage and $4.95 per hour wage for tipped workers.

The new wage is a 3 percent increase from the 2022 rate of $12 per-hour.

New Mexico’s second-largest city has a higher minimum wage than most of the state, after Las Cruces enacted its own local ordinance in 2014 that ties minimum wage increases to higher inflation rates measured by the national Consumer Price Index.

The U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the change in prices paid for different goods and services over time in the Consumer Price Index.

Preliminary data from November showed that people in cities were paying 3.1% more than 2022 for food and other goods, although full seasonally-adjusted data won’t be available until February.

Las Cruces’ changes to its minimum wage ordinance followed local laws passed by the City of Santa Fe, and tied wage increases to inflation measures in 2002. A measure was adopted by the Santa Fe County government in early 2014. There’s no announcement yet about any increase to Santa Fe’s wages, which would be announced in February for any changes on March 1.

Santa Fe raised its minimum wage to $14.03 per-hour in 2023.

Albuquerque’s wage rates remain unchanged from 2023, at $12 hourly for most employees and $7.20 per-hour for tipped workers, according to the 2024 wage notice to businesses.

New Mexico’s statewide minimum wage of $12 per-hour went into effect in January 2023, the final raise across four years to the state’s minimum wage, after a change to the law in 2019. Under state minimum wage laws, tipped workers are paid $3 per-hour.

The state’s minimum wage law excludes most people under the age of 18, and most agricultural and domestic workers. Other exceptions to state minimum wage laws include religious employment, workers at day or away camps and direct family employees, among others.

A bill to increase statewide minimum wages did not make it out of committees in last year’s legislative session. House Bill 28 would have gradually raised the statewide minimum wage $15.50 by 2026 and would have tied future wages to inflation increases in the Consumer Price Index.

It’s unclear if any lawmakers plan to bring that proposal back this year. The New Mexico legislature begins a 30-day session on Jan. 16.

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