Michigan Minimum Wage: Minimum Wage in Michigan 2024

January 9, 2024

The minimum wage in Michigan has been a topic of considerable interest for restaurant and business owners, especially those who employ a significant number of workers in entry-level positions. Understanding Michigan’s minimum wage laws is essential for compliance and effective business planning. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide on Michigan’s current minimum wage standards for 2024, ensuring that employers are well-informed and prepared for the changes.

What is the Minimum Wage in Michigan?

The year 2024 marks a significant update in Michigan's minimum wage policies. As of January 1, 2024, employers across Michigan are required to pay a minimum wage of $10.33 per hour, representing a slight increase from the 2023 rate of $10.10 per hour. This change is uniform across the state, meaning there are no variations based on county or city.

For business owners employing minors, it's important to note the specific rates applicable to them. Those aged 16 and 17 are entitled to a minimum wage of $8.78 per hour. This figure is calculated as 85% of the standard minimum wage, aligning with Michigan's commitment to supporting youth employment while ensuring fair pay.

Additionally, the training wage remains static at $4.25 per hour. This applies to newly hired employees between the ages of 16 and 19 for their initial 90 days of employment. Understanding these nuances is essential for maintaining legal compliance and fostering a fair work environment in your establishment.

Michigan State Minimum Wage vs Federal Minimum Wage

Understanding the differences between the state and federal minimum wages is essential for every business owner. Let's break down what you need to know.

Federal Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour for nonexempt employees. This standard is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Although the FLSA sets this baseline, it doesn't dictate wages above this minimum or address additional compensation like commissions. Enforcement and administration of this federal wage are handled by the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

State Minimum Wage

What is the minimum wage in Michigan, you ask? For 2024, Michigan has surpassed the federal benchmark, setting its minimum wage at $10.33 per hour, a slight increase from the previous year's $10.10. This adjustment aligns with the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018, which mandates annual incremental increases.

When your employees are subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, they are entitled to the higher of the two. In Michigan's case, the state minimum wage supersedes the federal rate, meaning you, as an employer, should adhere to the state's $10.33 hourly rate.

Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees in Michigan

For restaurant owners in Michigan, it’s essential to be well-versed in the specific wage requirements for tipped employees. In 2024, the minimum wage for these employees is established at a baseline cash wage of $3.52 per hour. This rate operates in tandem with the tip credit system. The concept here is that the tips earned should collectively amount to a minimum total compensation of $9.25 per hour when added to the cash wage.

It’s important to emphasize that this figure depends on a maximum tip credit of $5.73 per hour. The critical aspect to remember is the balance between the cash wage and the tips. If the sum of an employee’s earned tips and cash wage falls short of Michigan’s standard minimum wage, which is $10.33 per hour, the employer must compensate for the difference. This policy ensures that regardless of tips, every tipped employee earns at least the full state minimum wage for their efforts.

Michigan Overtime Minimum Wage

Employees are typically entitled to an overtime rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. This translates to an overtime minimum wage of $15.50 per hour in Michigan. It's essential for employers, especially in the restaurant industry, to recognize that while these overtime rules apply to most hourly employees, there are exceptions. Certain employees, such as those in professional, administrative, or executive roles, might not be eligible for these overtime rates. 

How is the Michigan Minimum Wage Set?

The minimum wage in Michigan is governed by the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018. This legislation determines how the state's minimum wage is adjusted annually. According to this Act, the state’s minimum wage is progressing toward reaching $12.05 by 2030. However, these increments are closely tied to Michigan’s economic climate, particularly its unemployment rate.

An interesting aspect of this Act is its unique safeguard against economic downturns. If Michigan’s unemployment rate, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exceeds 8.5% in the year preceding a scheduled wage increase, the increase is put on hold. This pause remains until the unemployment rate falls below the 8.5% threshold in a subsequent year. This mechanism ensures that wage increases align with the state’s economic health, balancing workers' needs and employers' capacities.

Historical Minimum Wage Rates in Michigan

Michigan’s minimum wage journey over the years reflects economic shifts and policy changes. Let’s take a look at how Michigan’s minimum wage has evolved over the past decade:

2014: $8.15

2015: $8.15

2016: $8.50

2017: $8.90

2018: $9.25

2019: $9.45

2020: $9.65

2021: $9.65

2022: $9.87

2023: $10.10

2024: $10.33

This historical overview of Michigan’s minimum wage highlights a consistent upward trajectory. For employers, staying informed about these changes is essential for effective budget management and compliance with state labor laws.

Source: Labor Law Center

The Impact of the Recent Minimum Wage Increase on Your Business

The recent increase in Michigan's minimum wage presents both challenges and opportunities for business owners. Let's explore the diverse impacts of this change:

1. Inflation and Economic Health

An uptick in the minimum wage often leads to a proportional increase in the prices of goods and services. While this might initially seem like a drawback, it can also stimulate economic growth by enhancing the purchasing power of workers.

2. Employee Turnover and Productivity

Raising the minimum wage can result in reduced employee turnover and heightened productivity. Higher wages often translate into greater job satisfaction, fostering a sense of value among employees. Moreover, it can motivate staff to meet heightened performance expectations, which benefits business growth.

3. Costs and Revenue Balance

While there is an undeniable increase in operational costs due to higher wages, this is often offset by a corresponding rise in revenue. Businesses must adapt strategically to manage these cost hikes without compromising their market presence.

4. Employment Dynamics

Contrary to some beliefs, higher minimum wages do not necessarily lead to significant job losses. Recent studies indicate that the increased labor costs can be managed effectively, with minimal impact on overall business employment.

It’s important for you to analyze these factors carefully. Each business’s unique circumstances will determine the exact impact of the minimum wage increase. Proactive planning and strategic adjustments are key to navigating these changes successfully.

Implications for Restaurant Owners

Navigating the Wage Increase

The recent increase in the Michigan minimum wage is a significant factor for restaurant owners to consider. This change directly affects labor costs, which are a substantial part of operating expenses in the restaurant industry. A survey from Harri, a workplace management platform, indicates that nearly half of the restaurant operators face a 3% to 9% rise in labor costs following state minimum wage hikes.

Adjusting Menu Prices

Many restaurants contemplate raising their menu prices to balance these increased labor costs. It's a tricky decision, as research, including a study analyzing Yelp data by Michael Luca and Oren Reshef, reveals that even a 1% price hike can lead to a 2.5-5% drop in average ratings. This data highlights the need for careful price adjustments to maintain customer satisfaction.

Focusing on Employee Retention

On a positive note, the higher minimum wage in Michigan can lead to better employee retention. Fair wages, coupled with good working conditions, contribute to a more stable and satisfied workforce.

Shifting Business Models

Evidence suggests that increased wages can catalyze a shift towards new business models in the restaurant industry. This shift could involve embracing technology, modifying service methods, or rethinking staffing strategies to maintain profitability.

Considering Potential Closures

Acknowledging some restaurant owners’ concerns about possible closures due to wage increases is essential. This concern is especially prevalent among small and medium-sized establishments. However, the impact varies based on the restaurant’s financial health, size, location, customer base, and other factors.

Strategies for Restaurant Businesses to Adapt to the Recent Minimum Wage Increase

In light of the recent adjustments to the Michigan minimum wage, restaurant owners must consider innovative strategies to adapt while maintaining profitability and service quality. Here are several approaches to consider:

1. Optimizing Labor Efficiency: Efficiency is key in managing the increased labor costs. Consider evaluating your staffing needs, streamlining processes, and cross-training employees to handle multiple roles efficiently. Aligning shifts with peak business times can also be a game-changer.

2. Embracing Technology: Technology offers a wide range of solutions for streamlining operations and cutting costs:

3. Menu Pricing Strategy: Adjust your menu pricing thoughtfully. Balance covering increased labor costs while retaining customer appeal. Introducing high-margin items or specials can also boost revenue without overwhelming your clientele.

4. Enhancing Customer Service: Outstanding customer service can set your restaurant apart. Focusing on customer satisfaction can lead to repeat business and positive referrals, thereby increasing revenue.

5. Reducing Waste: Implement strategies to minimize food and operational waste. Effective inventory management, portion control, and recycling can lead to significant cost savings.

6. Employee Retention: Investing in your staff through training and development can enhance service quality and reduce turnover costs. A satisfied team often translates to satisfied customers.

7. Energy Efficiency: Consider investing in energy-efficient appliances and practices. This not only reduces utility costs but also contributes to environmental sustainability.

8. Business Diversification: Diversify your revenue streams. This could include offering catering services, hosting private events, or selling merchandise. Each of these avenues provides additional income sources that can help balance the rise in labor costs.

Michigan Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters

Now, let’s focus on the various labor law posters that Michigan employers must display. These posters inform employees about their rights and obligations under state and federal labor laws. 

Here is a list of the posters that should be displayed in accordance with Michigan labor laws to inform employees about their rights and obligations under state and federal labor laws:

  • Updated Minimum Wage Information

  • Paid Medical Leave Act Details

  • Workers' Compensation Rights and Responsibilities

  • Employment Security Act (Unemployment Compensation)

  • MIOSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Information

  • Right to Know MSDS for Hazardous Materials

  • Youth Employment Standards Act

  • Anti-Discrimination Laws

  • Whistleblowers' Protection Act

  • Federal Labor Laws

By displaying these labor law posters in your establishment, you ensure compliance and demonstrate your commitment to providing a safe and fair working environment for your employees.


Staying informed about the minimum wage in Michigan and its implications is essential for restaurant owners and employers in the state. By understanding the current minimum wage rate, exemptions, tip credit, and overtime rules, you can effectively navigate the challenges of labor regulations. Adapting to these changes strategically will be key to the continued success of your restaurant business.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Michigan Minimum Wage

Explore the following frequently asked questions to gain valuable insights into Michigan's minimum wage, including inquiries about the concept of a livable wage, recent changes in the Michigan minimum wage, and the adequacy of a $95,000 salary in the state.

What is a Livable Wage in Michigan?

A livable wage in Michigan depends on your household composition. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator:

  • For one adult with no children: $16.27 per hour.

  • For one adult with one child: $36.81 per hour.

  • For two adults (both working) with no children: $13.02 per hour per adult.

  • For two adults (both working) with one child: $20.40 per hour per adult.

These figures are estimates and can vary. A livable wage is what an individual must earn to support themselves and their family, assuming working full-time (2080 hours per year).

Did Michigan Minimum Wage Go Up?

Yes, the minimum wage in Michigan has increased. On January 1, 2023, Michigan’s minimum wage rate increased from $9.87 to $10.10 per hour. Then, on January 1, 2024, it increased again from $10.10 to $10.33 per hour. These increases were set by Michigan’s Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018.

Is 95k a Good Salary in Michigan?

The answer depends on your lifestyle, family size, and financial obligations. Michigan has a cost of living that is 3% lower than the national average, with an average salary after taxes of $52,692 per year. While $95,000 is significantly higher than the Michigan average, consider your personal circumstances and expenses. 

For instance, expenses may be greater in cities like Ann Arbor, where the cost of living is 11.1% higher than the national average. Creating a detailed budget to assess your financial needs accurately is advisable.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not legal or financial advice and should not be considered as such. For specific legal or financial concerns related to minimum wage laws or any other employment-related matters in Michigan, we recommend consulting with a qualified attorney or financial advisor. The accuracy and applicability of the information may vary depending on individual circumstances and may be subject to change. Readers are encouraged to verify the information with official government sources or seek professional advice. The author and the website do not assume any liability for using or interpreting the information provided in this blog post.

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