Minimum wage increase begins Jan. 1

"Studies consistently show higher wages mean more children are healthier, do better in school and are less likely to be neglected or abused,” said Bill McCamley, Cabinet Secretary of New Mexico Workforce Solutions, shown here during a 2019 visit to Taos. Doug Cantwell/Taos News

It looks like the new year may start a little brighter for some New Mexicans as the minimum wage increase goes into effect on January 1. The increase, which raises the minimum wage from $9 to $10.50 an hour, is in accordance with an amendment to the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act signed into law by Governor Lujan Grisham on April 1, 2019. Tipped workers will also get a minimum wage increase, from $2.35 to $2.55 an hour.

"Governor Lujan Grisham, and the rest of this administration, believe strongly that a fair day's work deserves a fair day's pay," said NMDWS Cabinet Secretary Bill McCamley in a news release. "If COVID has shown us anything, it’s that our low wage workers... keeping our communities going deserve a raise now more than ever."

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator, the current living wage for a single adult, without children, in Taos County is $11.95 (an adult with two children comes out to $29.56.) However, many private businesses already pay their employees well over the minimum wage and several New Mexico cities and counties enforce their own minimum wage, including Bernalillo County, The City of Albuquerque, the City of Las Cruces, the City of Santa Fe, and Santa Fe County.

Additional information about the minimum wage is available at dws.state.nm.us.

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