Minimum wage rises by 15 cents an hour in 2021

Alaska’s minimum wage will rise by 15 cents an hour on Jan. 1, from $10.19 to $10.34, state labor officials announced on Thursday, Sept. 17.

State statues require adjustment of Alaska minimum wage using the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers in the Anchorage metropolitan area for the proceeding calendar year. The Anchorage CPI-U increased 1.4 percent in 2019, prompting the minimum wage boost.

By law Alaska’s minimum wage must remain at least one dollar an hour over the federal minimum wage.

The labor department warned that tips do not count toward that minimum wage.

Under state law, public school bus driver wages must be no less than twice the current Alaska minimum wage. Certain exempt employees must be paid on a salary basis of not less than twice the current Alaska minimum wage based on a 40-hour work week in order to keep their exempt status.

The minimum wage rule applies to all hours worked in a pay period, regardless of how the employee is paid, whether by time, piece, commission or otherwise.  All actual hours worked during a pay period multiplied by the Alaska minimum wage is the least any employee can be compensated by an employer unless the employer can clearly show that a specific exemption exists, labor officials said.

An earlier announcement from labor officials said the minimum wage would rise by 14 cents to $10.33, but later corrected that information.

More information on the state’s labor laws is online at http://labor.alaska.gov/lss/whhome.htm