Ohio minimum wage rises to $10.45 an hour in 2024

Ohio’s minimum wage will increase to $10.45 an hour, and to $5.25 for tipped employees beginning Jan. 1.

The state’s minimum wage increases Jan. 1 of each year by the rate of inflation after Ohio voters in November 2006 approved a Constitutional amendment.

The state minimum wage is tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) for urban wage earners and clerical workers over the 12-month period prior to September. The CPI-W index increased by 3.7 % over the 12-month period from Sept. 1, 2022, to Aug. 31, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce.

The minimum wage for this year is $10.10 an hour, or $5.05 an hour for tipped employees.

For employees at smaller companies with annual gross receipts of $385,000 or less per year after Jan. 1, and for 14- and 15-year-olds, the state’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. For these employees, the state wage is tied to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which requires an act of Congress and the president’s signature to change.

Ohio now has more jobs than ever. The strong job market benefits workers with higher wages and more employment choices, according to the annual State of Working in Ohio report released in conjunction with Labor Day by Policy Matters Ohio.

There are now 5,639,200 jobs in Ohio, slightly higher than the previous peak employment dating to May 2000 and far higher than the 4.7 million jobs during the COVID-19 shutdown of April 2020,

While jobs in Ohio have recovered to their pre-COVID level, the recovery has been uneven across the state, with seven of Ohio’s 11 metropolitan statistical areas still below pre-COVID employment. But the Dayton and Springfield metro regions, along with Columbus and Cincinnati, now have more jobs than before the pandemic.

“My top line is we’ve got a tight labor market right now that is highly favorable to workers overall and that’s the labor market that we need right now,” said Michael Shields, lead author of the report and an economist at the liberal-leaning Cleveland-based think tank.

Wage gains in a strong labor market have led some companies to pay well over Ohio’s hourly minimum wage.

Raising the minimum wage does little to help most Ohio workers, but instead harms some potential workers, said Rea S. Hederman Jr., vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute, a conservative-leaning Columbus-based think tank.

“In rural areas, a higher minimum wage will make it harder for businesses to hire more workers. Other potential workers, including younger workers, will find it harder to get jobs with a higher minimum wage. Larger businesses will speed their transition to technology instead of hiring more workers,” he said.

Staff Writers Lynn Hulsey and Thomas Gnau contributed to this report.

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