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Minimum wage increase take effect in Arizona, Tucsonans wait until April for extra bump

The minimum wage in Arizona has jumped to $12.80 per hour — a 65-cent increase over 2021, to more than $26,000 per year for those working 40 hours per week. An additional pay bump approved by Tucson voters in November won't take effect until spring.

Voters approved the statewide increase as part of a 2016 initiative with a provision that also raised tipped employees to $3.00 per hour less than the regular wage. The new minimum wage does not apply to state and local governments or businesses exempt from the federal minimum wage. Nor does it apply to babysitting gigs in employer homes "on a casual basis." 

Businesses exempt from the federal minimum wage requirement are also exempt from this law. So too are the state and federal governments. 

Tucson's minimum wage hike, set by voters in November, won't take effect until April, when most workers will make $13 per hour on the way to $15.25 by 2025. This law does not apply to contract workers such as Uber drivers or state and federal workers.

The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25, where it has been set since 2009. 

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Dylan Smith/

The fruits of local efforts to raise the minimum wage at the ballot box are starting to bear fruit. A voter-approved minimum wage increase has taken effect statewide while another is scheduled to lift Tucson workers' pay in April.