Minimum wage will inch closer toward the $15 per hour goal on New Year’s Eve

Local worker unions have been championing for a $15/hour minimum wage for years; New York state will have it as early as 2018.
Photo via Shutterstock

Just before 2017 arrives, tens of thousands of minimum wage workers in New York state will move closer to the coveted $15 an hour goal.

Earlier this year, the $15 minimum wage increase was passed as part of the 2016-2017 New York State budget, making New York the first state in the nation to enact a minimum wage that high. Local unions have been championing a $15 minimum wage for several years.

“No one who works full-time should be condemned to a life of poverty, and that’s why New York took action to raise the wage and provide the opportunity of a decent life to millions of hard-working New Yorkers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As we reach this milestone for a more fair and a more just New York, we are reminding workers they are owed a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and this administration will work to ensure they receive the wage increase to which they are entitled.”

It is estimated that nearly 2 million people across the state will be affected by the minimum wage increase. According to Cuomo’s office, approximately 861,895 people in New York City are currently earning less than $15 per hour.

For workers employed at a large business (11 employees or more), the minimum wage will rise to $12 per hour in New York City by the end of 2016 and increase by $1.50 after each year, making the minimum wage $15 by Dec. 31, 2018. For workers employed by small businesses (10 employees or fewer), the minimum wage will grow to $10.50 by the end of 2016 and will increase $1.50 after each year, making the minimum wage $15 by Dec. 31, 2019.

More from Around New York