CLEVELAND – Ohio’s minimum wage is now $10.10, up by 80 cents from last year.

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio's new minimum wage is $10.10 for non-tipped employees

  • For tipped employees, the new minimum is $5.05

  • This is the biggest bump in wages on record in Ohio since the adjustment index was approved in 2006

The minimum wage for tipped employees also increased to $5.05 from last year’s rate of $4.65.

This is the biggest increase on record since the 2006 index that adjusts the wage to match inflation levels was approved. 

“We know how many make less than $10.10, or did before this January, that was about 188,000 Ohioans,” said Michael Shields, researcher with Policy Matters Ohio. “Those are folks who got a raise as a direct result of this policy.”

Shields said while the index is a good policy to give workers more buying power, the new wage is still not liveable. 

“We need a wage that, frankly, honors the value of work that folks are doing,” he said. “$10.10 doesn't get us there. It's a good policy, but we really need to be passing a living wage.”

Researcher Michael Shields. (Spectrum News 1/Nora McKeown)

Owner of local Urban Planting shops, Elio Calabrese, said running a small business can be challenging when competing with big box stores.

“It can be difficult, you know, it's fun,” Calabrese said. “There's a lot of support from the community. A lot of people around town love coming in.”

When it comes to hiring employees, Calabrese said the positions have gotten a lot of interest.

Still, he had to compete with those larger businesses for workers, many of which pay above minimum wage.

“We never considered minimum wage,” he said. “It just wasn't something that I wanted to do. So we really just kind of did, you know, what we have to to be able to stay competitive.”

Like Calabrese, many business owners have chosen to pay above minimum wage. 

“We try to figure out what is going to be a livable wage and something that will entice workers to stay and to be able to grow and, and live their lives as they want to comfortably,” Calabrese said.

Shields said other states that have raised the minimum wage to $15 could be an example of a liveable wage in Ohio.

“I think that $15 is modest income, and it's become even more so in light of the inflation that we've experienced over the past year,” Shields said. “But you know, frankly, I don't think we should be looking at anything less than $15.”