With Florida’s result, 43% of the US workforce will be in states with minimum wages climbing to $15 or more, EPI’s Cooper says.

Many local governments also have increased minimum wages. At least 21 cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles, have raised their hourly wage floors to $15 or more. Meanwhile, five states—Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee— have not adopted a state minimum wage.

With Florida heavily reliant on tourism and service sector jobs, lots of workers would get a raise from the measure. A report from the Florida Policy Institute found the new amendment would raise the wages of 2.5 million Floridians, or more than 26% of the state’s workforce. (The current minimum wage in the state is $8.56.) But the pandemic has hit the leisure and hospitality industry hard, so it’s not clear how the raise will impact employment in Florida.

Economists have long debated the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Congressional Budget Office estimated it could boost the wages of 17 million low-wage workers and lift 1.3 million workers out of poverty. It also suggested the US economy could shed 1.3 million jobs. Bloomberg opinion columnist Michael R. Strain, an economist at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, recently wrote that a $15 wage floor would set back the economic recovery, and quibbled with Biden’s argument, made during the presidential debates, that there is “no evidence” that raising the minimum wage would put employers out of business.

“He’s right that evidence is limited on what a $15-per-hour minimum wage would do to workers and businesses. That’s because it is such a high minimum that few states and localities have tried it,” Strain noted.

Maybe so. But the Nov. 3 outcome in Florida suggests a growing number of voters are plenty open to the idea.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.