Those earning minimum wage will receive a boost in pay starting January 1, 2024.

Good News from the Governor

Governor Kathy Hochul launched a new, statewide public awareness effort to alert New Yorkers of potential salary increases in the coming weeks. The "historic" increases are said to help minimum wage workers keep up with the rate of inflation.

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She announced in a press release:

On January 1, we are lifting New York’s minimum wage to help hard-working New Yorkers keep up with rising costs and continue supporting their families. If you are a minimum wage worker and you don’t see this increase in your paycheck next year, I urge you to file a wage complaint with the Department of Labor to make sure that you are getting the wage increase you deserve.

Annual hikes to the minimum wage have been negotiated through 2026, with $0.50 cents per-hour increases starting in 2025.  Boosts to the minimum wage will then be tied to inflation in 2027, where the rate will be set to $17 an hour, as well as data from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Northeast Region.

The governor secured these salary hikes as part of the 2024 budget

What's the $$$ Looking Like in CNY?

Minimum wage workers operating in NYC, Westchester and Long Island will see their hourly earnings rise to $16. As for the remainder of the state, employees will begin earning $15 per hour.

That means Central New York minimum wage workers will see their wages jump by $0.80 cents per hour, as the current rate is set to $14.20 statewide.

Upstate New York workers are getting a record-setting minimum wage increase in 2023

However, the governor is urging all minimum wage employees to monitor their pay and report any discrepancies to the Department of Labor. Complaints can be made online or by calling  833-910-4378.

She especially encourages filing a report if their hourly wage doesn't reflect the new changes as of January 1.

To ensure everyone is paid fairly, Governor Hochul's administration will roll out an aggressive public awareness campaign that will include social media, emails and flyers.

History of Minimum Wage

The minimum wage was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal policy in 1938 via the Fair Labor Standards Act. The original legislation called for a 44-hour work week and barred children under a certain age from joining the workforce. The final version of the bill called for a work week no longer than 40 hours, banning child workers under the age of 16, and establishing a minimum wage.

The FLSA was originally established as a response to the Great Depression and unfair labor practices. Around the time, roughly a quarter of the nation was without a job and Americans struggled to afford basic necessities.

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President Roosevelt felt installing a minimum wage would strengthen the economy by ensuring all working Americans had buying power. He felt the only way to revive the economy was through what he called a "living wage," of which he so famously said:

It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By "business" I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.

Since then, the minimum wage has been revised multiple times to keep up with inflation. However, the federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009, and currently sits at $7.25 per hour.

Minimum Wage

Other states have since enacted their own minimum wage requirements, such as New York, with next year's hourly rate rising between $15 and $16, depending on where employees are working.

Do you think $15 an hour is enough to keep up with inflation? Let us know in the comments below.

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