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State Minimum Wage to Increase to $13.80 on January 1, 2023

Andy O’Brien
23 Sep, 2022
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Maine’s minimum wage will increase to $13.80 to keep up with the cost of living on January 1, thanks to a voter approved referendum passed in 2016. The adjustment will boost wages for up to 147,000 working Mainers, according to the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP). According to Maine law, each year the minimum wage is adjusted by the percent increase in the 12-month Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the Northeast Region as of August in the previous year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data finding an 8.1 percent increase in prices, resulting in next year’s minimum wage raise. 

According to MECEP analysis of US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, nearly 71,000 Mainers currently earn less than the new minimum hourly wage of $13.80. These workers will see an immediate wage increase on January 1. MECEP also expects nearly 76,000 Mainers who earn just over the new minimum wage level will see their wages increase as employers adjust wage scales.

Over the past year, due primarily to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic and corporate price gouging, prices for things like groceries and gas have risen faster than at any point in 40 years. 

"Meanwhile, the biggest corporations in those same sectors have used the cover of inflation and their outsized market power to pinch working families, as US profit margins are higher than at any time in the past 70 years," MECEP writes.

The Maine AFL-CIO co-chaired the 2016 Mainers for Fair Wages ballot campaign that passed this law by citizen initiative.