Last month, Democrats in the Wisconsin State Legislature called for the state’s minimum wage to increase. State Senator Melissa Agard and Representative Lisa Subeck asked that the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour be gradually increased to $15 dollars per hour. The state of Wisconsin has not increased the minimum wage since 2009 and this would represent a great opportunity to stimulate the state’s economy after the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney Naomi Soldon of Soldon McCoy, the nationally recognized union labor law firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is hopeful that Wisconsin will pass this historic legislation and stresses the numerous benefits this raise would provide the state’s workers. Within this blog, Naomi Soldon will review Wisconsin’s current minimum wages and provide valuable context for Wisconsin’s potential minimum wage increase.
Wisconsin Compared to Other Midwest States
Wisconsin shares the same minimum wage as Iowa and Indiana; however, compared to Minnesota and Illinois, Wisconsin is at a stark disadvantage. Minnesota’s current minimum wage is $10.08 per hour, while Illinois’ minimum wage is $11, but $14 in the city of Chicago. Many Wisconsin government officials have already expressed their concern that Wisconsin’s lower minimum wages have cost the state valuable workers, specifically near the state’s border communities. To compete with Minnesota and Illinois for workers, Wisconsin must consider not only raising its minimum wage, but increasing it to an amount that would entice workers throughout the Midwest.
Benefits of Raising Wisconsin’s Minimum Wage
One of the most obvious benefits of raising the minimum wage would be the overall improvement of Wisconsin worker’s standard of living. Minimum wage workers would be able to more easily afford various monthly expenses, including rent, utilities, car payments, and groceries. This raise will also help improve worker morale and worker productivity, and would reduce the state’s problem of high worker turnover. Additionally, financial experts have stated that raising the minimum wage will help improve consumer spending, raise businesses’ profits, and benefit Wisconsin’s economy.
Wisconsin’s Current Minimum Wages
Adults – $7.25
Opportunity Employee – $5.90
Tipped Employee – $2.33
Tipped Opportunity Employee – $2.13
Caddies 9 holes – $5.90
Caddies 18 holes – $10.50
No Board or Lodging
- Adult: $350/week
- Minor: $350/week
- Adult: $265/week
- Minor: $265/week
With Board and Lodging