Arizona’s minimum wage will increase to $7.65 per hour as of January 1, 2012.  This amount is 30 cents more than the present minimum wage in Arizona and nearly 40 cents higher than what is required by federal law.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona (“ICA”) announced the wage adjustment through a resolution executed on October 13, 2011.  Pursuant to the Raise the Minimum Wage for Working Arizonans Act, which voters enacted in 2006, the ICA has the authority to establish minimum wage increases on January 1 of every year in order to reflect increases in the cost of living.

Using the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) published by the United States Department of Labor, the ICA measures the cost of living increase by comparing the CPI for the same month over two years.  For example, in order to calculate the increase in the cost of living for purposes of the minimum wage in 2012, the ICA would compare August 2010 with August 2011.  Under this analysis, the CPI reflected an increase of 3.8% when comparing August 2010 to August 2011.  This 3.8% increase accounts for the 30-cent addition to the minimum wage effective January 1, 2012.

The full text of the ICA’s resolution is available on the ICA’s website: