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ABQ’s minimum wage inches up again

(Dean Hanson/Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Minimum wage workers in Albuquerque will see a slight bump in their paychecks to start the year — equal to $10 per week for those maintaining a typical full-time schedule.

On Tuesday, the hourly minimum wage in the city climbed to $9.20, up from $8.95 in 2018.

The required minimum is lower for those whose employers provide health care and/or childcare benefits: $8.20 per hour. The rate for tipped workers is $5.50 per hour.

Changes to the city’s minimum wage are tied to inflation. The cost-of-living increases take effect at the start of each new year under an ordinance update approved by voters in 2012. That election upped Albuquerque’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50 to start 2013, and mandated the inflationary increases every year beginning in 2014.

While some business groups opposed the ordinance change, advocacy groups are celebrating this year’s uptick, which amounts to $520 per year for those who work 40 hours per week.

“This extra money in the pocket of a minimum wage worker is an opportunity to better provide for his or her family,” Edgar Salinas, an organizer with El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, said in a written statement.

Minimum wage in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County also increased this week. The hourly rate rose to $9.05 from $8.85. As with the City of Albuquerque, county ordinance requires annual cost-of-living adjustments.

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