PA Minimum Wage Increasing July 2019

Calling all PA Employers…

Did you hear that Minimum wage, for workers in PA, may get a substantial boost come July 2019?

by: Jaime Maltese, HR Assistant

Just yesterday, January 30 2019, Governor Tom Wolf set forth a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania from $7.25 to $12 per hour, effective July 1 of this year; he also proposed to continue raising the minimum wage by .50 cents each year, reaching $15 per hour by 2025. The wage in Pennsylvania has been frozen at $7.25, the current federal minimum wage, since 2009. Pennsylvania’s neighboring states, including Maryland, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio, have all raised their hourly pay rates. In fact, 29 states have increased their minimum wages since 2009.

What does this mean for you, an Employer in PA?

As of now, the increase in minimum wage in PA is just a “proposal.”   But now is the time to start planning.  ** REMEMBER** The increase will not only affect the employees currently making $7.25 but it may have a ripple effect on other employees since they may feel entitled to some sort of increase as well.  McCloskey Partners is recommending that employers start planning now for the changes that are coming later this year.

Why increase Minimum Wage in PA?

Governor Wolf tweeted that this increase would benefit one million PA workers. He expressed empathy, noting that minimum wage workers in PA are struggling, barely able to afford basic life necessities like food, rent and transportation.  Even though employees are working full time hours, they are still depending on public programs to help close the gap between what they are earning and a fair livable wage; a large number of PA workers rely heavily on cash assistance in order to afford quality childcare, in addition to Medicaid, nutritional assistance and free or reduced school lunches.

A minimum hourly rate of $12 would allow approximately 17,000 adults to leave Medicaid, resulting in taxpayer savings of $36 million. That savings jumps to 119 million by 2020, when the minimum wage is raised to $12.50. Furthermore, the additional money that workers earn, estimated to be over 9 billion by 2025, will be put back into their communities and keep businesses thriving.

This is not a new idea from Governor Wolf; he has been pushing for this increase since 2015 when he took office but has been stalled by a Republican legislature. Pennsylvania business groups also warn of negative effects, particularly on small organizations. Hiking prices on products and services, laying off workers, and cutting back on benefits are a few possibilities. However, Governor Wolf and his supporters strongly believe that this move will grow the middle class, create new jobs, and enable Pennsylvanians to escape poverty; PA should be a place that attracts and retains hard working people, and rewards them for it.

Email your questions to: or call 215-716-3035 x 712.