Gov. Wolf Raises State Employee Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour

The wage floor for employees under the governor’s jurisdiction will increase to $15 by 2024, thanks to a new executive order.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

Many of Pennsylvania’s lowest-paid state workers are seeing a bump in their July paychecks as an executive order that Gov. Tom Wolf signed in late June raising the minimum wage for state employees to $12 — with plans for an increase to $15 by 2024 — kicks in.

The measure affects pay for employees under the governor’s jurisdiction, as well as employees of state contractors, those that lease property to the commonwealth, those that perform direct services to the commonwealth, or those who spend at least 20 percent of their working time on services related to the contract or lease through the commonwealth.

The order aligns with the governor’s Jobs That Pay plan, which includes reforms aimed at economic development, middle-class job creation, a pro-growth business climate and workforce partnerships, as well as building Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector.

Wolf has long advocated for raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from the federally mandated $7.25 an hour, but Pennsylvania’s GOP-dominated legislature has yet to get behind the idea. In a statement, the governor noted that more than half of the states in the U.S. (including all of our neighboring states) have a higher minimum wage that Pennsylvania. An executive order signed by Wolf in March 2016 raised the current wage floor for state employees to $10.20 an hour.

“Pennsylvania must be a place where hard work is rewarded, but today too many people cannot afford the basics,” Wolf said. “Raising the wage puts more money in their pockets which generates business for our economy and makes the commonwealth stronger. Hardworking men and women should not have to wait any longer. It’s time for the General Assembly to join me and raise the wage.”

Wolf’s measure will affect the wages of at least 900 state employees who currently earn the minimum wage. Under the executive order, minimum wage will increase by 50 cents a year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2024. After that, the wage rate would increase by an annual cost-of-living adjustment using the percentage chance in the Consumer Price Index.