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Ohio Minimum Wage Gets Slight Bump in 2021

Two stacks of coins on a wooden table
Flickr Creative Commons

Minimum wage workers are receiving a slight bump in their wages in 2021. The $8.80 per hour wage is up only 10 cents from last year. An Ohio constitutional amendment passed in 2006 requires the minimum wage increase each year to keep up with inflation. But some experts say such a small increase will have close to no impact on low-wage workers.

Richard Stock, director of the Business Research Group at the University of Dayton, said if the minimum wage had in fact kept up with inflation since 1968, it would be about $12 per hour today.

“Fundamentally, low wage workers have less protection in Ohio today than they did in the late 1960s,” he said. “I think [the 10 cent increase] really is just a way of not doing anything about the issue and has no meaning whatsoever.”

During the pandemic, low wages have left some essential workers, like home health aides and fast food workers, risking their lives while struggling to feed their families. Last year a group campaigned for a new constitutional amendment that would raise the minimum wage to $13 by 2025, but failed to get the issue on the November ballot.

While working at the station Leila Goldstein has covered the economic effects of grocery cooperatives, police reform efforts in Dayton and the local impact of the coronavirus pandemic on hiring trends, telehealth and public parks. She also reported Trafficked, a four part series on misinformation and human trafficking in Ohio.