Governor Wolf Raises the Minimum Wage for Commonwealth Workers, Calls on Legislature to Act
June 28, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – Building on his commitment to create Jobs That Pay as Pennsylvania’s economy continues to expand, Governor Tom Wolf today signed an executive order that increases pay for employees under the governor’s jurisdiction to no less than $12 an hour on July 1, 2018 and raises the wage by 50 cents a year until reaching at least $15 per hour in 2024.
“Pennsylvania must be a place where hard work is rewarded, but today too many people cannot afford the basics,” said Governor Wolf. “This executive order increases the wage floor for state workers and state contractors, but the General Assembly has not given all minimum wage workers a raise in nearly a decade.
“More than half of the states have a higher minimum wage, including all of our surrounding states, leaving many Pennsylvanians behind. Raising the wage puts more money in their pockets which generates business for our economy and makes the commonwealth stronger. Hardworking men and women should not have to wait any longer. It’s time for the General Assembly to join me and raise the wage.”
Workers in Pennsylvania earning the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour have only 26 percent of the purchasing power they did in 1979. A family of two working full-time and earning minimum wage falls below the poverty line.
Increasing the minimum wage is a win-win for workers and the economy. Boosting wages provides workers with more income to purchase items they most need, which generates business for the local economy and reduces costs for state services.
The governor’s executive order also covers employees of state contractors, those that lease property to the commonwealth, and employees that perform direct services to the commonwealth or spend at least 20 percent of their working time on ancillary services related to the contract or lease.
After reaching $15 an hour in 2024, the minimum wage rate would increase by an annual cost-of-living adjustment using the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
The current wage floor for employees is $10.20 an hour under an executive order signed by the governor in March 2016.