New Mexico to Raise State Minimum Wage to $11.50 for the New Year

By Bryan Jung
Bryan Jung
Bryan Jung
Bryan S. Jung is a native and resident of New York City with a background in politics and the legal industry. He graduated from Binghamton University.
December 28, 2021 Updated: December 29, 2021

New Mexico’s minimum wage will once again be raised by a dollar at the start of the new year on Jan. 1, 2022.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) alerted employers and workers that the minimum wage would go up from $10.50 per hour to $11.50 per hour.

The state tipped minimum wage will be set at $2.80 per hour from $2.55 per hour.

“The Minimum Wage Act is a responsible and phased approach to increasing pay for New Mexicans,” said NMDWS Acting Secretary Ricky Serna.

“NMDWS takes seriously its responsibility to ensure compliance with minimum wage laws through education, technical support and enforcement.”

The latest minimum wage increase, the third since 2019, is in accordance with an amendment to the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act that was signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on April 1, 2019.

The law will gradually raise the statewide minimum wage to $12 by 2023.

The minimum wage in New Mexico prior to the passing of the act in 2019 was $7.50 an hour.

The NMDWS stated that the minimum wage is the lowest wage that an employer is legally required to pay workers and that the agency will enforce the new state minimum wage law.

The cities of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and Santa Fe County, are not affected by the amendment as they have already enacted their own minimum wage increases that are higher than the state requirements.

The NMDWS is requiring employers to post a copy of the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act in a place where all workers can easily see it.

A nationwide push for raising the state and Federal minimum wage to $15 an hour has been increasing lately from labor advocacy groups and Democrats.

New York and California are the only states so far to have enacted a law raising their minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Virginia are set to follow over the next four years after passing a $15 minimum wage increase.

According to a report that was provided to USA TODAY by the National Employment Law Project, 21 states and 35 cities and counties are set to raise their minimum wages on or about New Year’s Day.

President Joe Biden and the Democrats have proposed a raise in the federal minimum wage requirement for most workers to $15 an hour from $7.25.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009, as Republicans have repeatedly blocked efforts to increase it.

Many small businesses and restaurants say that they will be hurt by a minimum wage increase. Michael Saltsman, Managing Director of the Employment Policies Institute, a restaurant industry organization, said that the wage increases have already accelerated a trend toward more automation and fewer workers.

“In the current environment, where employers are trying to reduce costs by pulling labor out of the restaurant, the last thing you want to do is give them another incentive to do so,” said in an interview with USA TODAY.

Bryan Jung
Bryan S. Jung is a native and resident of New York City with a background in politics and the legal industry. He graduated from Binghamton University.