Effective January 1, 2013, the minimum wage in Arizona will increase to $7.80, which reflects a 15-cent increase from Arizona’s minimum wage in 2012 and is 55 cents more than what is required by federal law.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona (“ICA”) announced the increase in mid-October. The ICA establishes annual minimum wage increases pursuant to the Raise Minimum Wage for Working Arizonans Act, which voters enacted in 2006. In order to determine the annual increase amount, the ICA measures the cost of living increase by comparing the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”), which is published by the U.S. Department of Labor and tracks the cost of goods and services, for the same month over two years.  Between August 2011 and August 2012, the CPI increased 1.7 percent, which accounts for the 15-cent increase in the State minimum wage.

In addition to increasing the hourly rate for employees earning minimum wage, employers should update their Arizona Minimum Wage Poster for 2013.  If employers have questions about the minimum wage increase, they may contact John Balitis or Carrie Pixler Ryerson or any member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.  The full text of the ICA’s press release is available on the ICA website: www.ica.state.az.us.