Vermont minimum wage to increase in 2023

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 10:58 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Some of Vermont’s lowest-paid workers will get a raise starting in January 2023.

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state’s minimum wage will increase from $12.55 an hour to $13.18 an hour. That’s a $0.63 increase.

For tipped-wage employees, the rate will increase from $6.28 an hour to $6.59 an hour. This will also take effect on Jan. 1.

However, many Burlington area businesses are already paying much more than that.

“$13.18 has been in our rearview mirror for some time,” said Mark Bouchette, the owner of Homeport.

Many Church Street businesses have signs up looking for help. Some are advertising wages as high as $25 per hour.

Bouchette says there’s no other way to keep employees.

“There’s a shortage of labor in Burlington. There’s a high demand. The market has set the price,” he explained.

Those living in the area agree. Many people WCAX News spoke with say $13.18 is a good start, but not enough.

“The cost of living has gone up dramatically in the United States and the wages have not kept up,” said Thomas Perry of Waitsfield.

“I think there’s way too much of a discrepancy in this country between workers and CEOs,” said Jana Porter of Burlington. “I’d like to see it going up much more than that.”

Even though Burlington businesses won’t feel a massive impact, Bouchette says there is concern for smaller shops in more rural areas. Additionally, it could also impact the price of goods, with costs in manufacturing plants and warehouses going up.

“Ultimately, if it doesn’t increase productivity-- which typically an arbitrary raise in minimum wage doesn’t-- the cost has to be passed along and it’s just an added cost,” Bouchette said.

Bouchette says most customers are understanding when the cost of goods goes up because of something like this. Right now, Homeport hires part-time employees at $14 an hour. However, with the bump in minimum raise, he expects their minimum to go up as well.