NFIB State Executive Director Bill Herrle released the following statement in response to the first of six mandatory annual increases in the state minimum wage, which took effect Sept. 30:
“We believe wages should be determined by the market, not politics, and that’s clearly what’s been happening as Florida’s economy has opened up.
“The latest NFIB jobs survey shows a staggering 50% of small businesses nationwide have openings they can’t fill, and while Florida’s minimum is jumping to $10 an hour, our survey shows that 41% of owners nationwide have already begun paying more while another 26% plan to raise wages in the next three months.
“Of course, that money has to come from someplace. Raising the starting wage will increase the financial pressure on small businesses that are struggling to get through the pandemic and could end up hurting workers as employers simply try to get by with fewer workers to offset the overall increase in labor costs.
“It remains to be seen whether raising the minimum wage will affect Florida’s labor shortage. Our jobs survey showed that 91% of small businesses nationwide with positions to fill had few if any qualified applicants.”