Vermont's minimum wage will increase by 18 cents next year. The Department of Labor announced Monday that starting on Jan. 1, 2020, the state's minimum hourly wage will be $10.96.
Under a law signed in 2014, Vermont's minimum wage now increases each year by 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The state uses the Consumer Price Index to determine the inflation rate. The 2020 increase is lower than this past year, when the minimum wage went up by 28 cents.
The minimum wage for workers who earn tips will also go up next year to $5.48 per hour, an increase of 9 cents.
Michael Harrington, acting commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor, acknowledged the pay boost is small, but said it can still help workers.
"Any time we see natural growth in the minimum wage, as we do now, I think that's a good thing," Harrington said. "And I think employees would certainly find value, even though it's a small amount, find value in this increase as well."
The wage boost comes as state lawmakers have debated a more significant increase for workers, and Harrington said his department will keep tabs on the minimum wage debate in the next session.
"We're looking forward to the conversation again this year as part of the session, and [to] see what comes forward," Harrington said.
Earlier this year, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate were unable to find common ground on legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over several years.