By Robert Williams

Editor, Frazee-Vergas Forum

As of Jan. 1, 2023, Minnesota’s minimum-wage rates will be adjusted for inflation to $10.59 an hour for large employers and $8.63 an hour for other state minimum wages.

The current large-employer minimum wage, $10.33, will increase by 26 cents to $10.59. Other state minimum wages, including the small-employer, youth and training wages, as well as the summer work travel exchange visitor program wage, which are all currently $8.42, will increase by 21 cents to $8.63. These increases are both 2.5 percent.

“This increase is designed to help minimum-wage workers keep up with inflation to better provide for themselves and their families,” said Nicole Blissenbach, Department of Labor and Industry temporary commissioner.

That’s laughable if it was actually funny. It isn’t.

Over a 40-hour work week, 21 cents equates to eight bucks and four dimes. 

Go crazy, minimum wage workers! How is that designed to help anyone?

For even the most menial of jobs at a small employer, $8.63 per hour? That’s a fiver under $350 per week gross. Give Uncle Sam his chunk and over a two-week period that person would bring home a whopping $574.

What do you do with that besides starve? 

If one is living in an efficiency apartment, maybe the landlord is kind enough to charge $700 rent per month. There goes half of that paycheck and for the next two weeks it’s how to live on $224. 


The gas pump alone will take half of that.

Let’s put our hard-working sufferer at a bigger company and give them $10.59 per hour over two weeks. Take home $691.

Not much better.

The state minimum-wage rates do not apply to work performed in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which have higher minimum-wage rates.

Imagine working in the metro and living on $956 ($15/hr) take home every two weeks.

With all the money that is filtered upwards in our society, especially now in a government-created inflationary nightmare, I would not want to put my name on that quote from Blissenbach. Then again, she’s only been on the job for 21 days after the retirement of former commissioner Roslyn Robertson in early August.

I’d retire too, if I had to spew that level of nonsense and mean it.

My examples assumed this minimum wage worker was a single person. The DLI seems to think two dimes and a penny are going to help an actual family. 

That’s ridiculous, even if you had two minimum wage incomes in a household.

Then again, we live in a country where the poverty line for one person is an annual salary of $13,590 ($480 every two weeks).

Makes one wonder why none of the $9 billion tax surplus in this state is going back into the people’s wallets. The biggest contributor to that surplus is income tax.