Minimum wage workers in New York will see their paychecks go up this year, along with those in 19 other states and two dozen cities and counties. That’s according to a new analysis by the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute, which tracks minimum wage changes across the country.
Overall, more than 5 million low-wage workers will see their paychecks go up even as the federal minimum wage remains stagnant for the 12th consecutive year, the EPI said. In New York, approximately 464,000 minimum wage workers will see their paychecks increase. How much depends on where one lives in New York.
According to the New York Department of Labor, minimum wage rates are scheduled to increase each year on Dec. 31 until they reach $15 per hour.
In New York City, employees in companies with 11 or more individuals saw their minimum hourly wage go from $13 to $15 as of Dec. 31, 2018. Employees in companies with 10 or fewer individuals went from $12 to $13.50 as of Dec. 31, 2018, with the wage going up to $15 on Dec. 31, 2019.
Employees in Long Island and Westchester saw their wages go from $11 to $12 as of Dec. 31, 2018, with rates going up $1 each year until it reaches $15.
For the remainder of the state, including Rockland County, the minimum wage went from $10.40 per hour to $11.10 as of Dec. 31, 2018. It will increase at the end of 2019 and 2020 to $11.80 and $12.50, respectively. The annual increase from 2021 on will be determined by the director of the Division of Budget, based on economic indices.
There are different hourly rates for workers in the fast food industry and those who receive tips, the state labor department said
The pay bumps aren’t large by any stretch of the imagination, ranging from as low as a nickel raise in Alaska to $1 in Maine and Massachusetts. California companies with more than 25 workers must also give minimum wage workers a $1-an-hour increase.
Eight states — Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota and Vermont — increased minimum wages automatically to keep up with inflation. This is intended to ensure those workers don’t lose buying power from year to year.
In six states — California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Rhode Island — the increases were set by state lawmakers. Several of those bumps were part of broader plans to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The remaining six states — Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri and Washington — saw their minimum wages climb due to voter ballots.
The EPI said minimum wage increases are one of the most straightforward ways to boost pay for the lowest-earning workers. A “flurry” of similar increases in recent years have led to “sizable gains” in wages for millions nationwide.