Minimum wage will increase locally on Dec. 31 to $11.80 an hour

Staff Reports Posted 5 December 2019 at 11:43 am

Minimum wage locally will go from $11.10 to $11.80 an hour beginning on Dec. 31, and will rise to $12.50 in another year on Dec. 31, 2020.

This is part of the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s and the State Legislature push to bring minimum wage to $15 an hour in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. It will peak at $12.50 for the rest of the state, including Orleans County.

Governor Cuomo today announced the higher minimum wage phase-in isn’t hurting the economy. He cited a report by the Division of the Budget that found a decline in New York’s unemployment rate to record lows. The governor said the data indicates that recent minimum wage increases have been absorbed with negligible, if any, impacts on labor demand in every region. (Click here to see the report.)

Based on the report’s finding, the current outlook for continued growth in employment and wages at a moderate pace allows the state labor market to absorb the minimum wage increases scheduled for 2020.

“New York is leading the fight for economic justice, proudly setting a national example by raising the minimum wage to $15,” Governor Cuomo said. “Nearly three years after we set New York on a path to achieve a $15 minimum wage, we are seeing the benefits: record low unemployment rates, fewer people living in poverty, less people working multiple part-time jobs and more families given the opportunity to live a decent life. In New York we believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, and we won’t stop fighting until every hardworking New Yorker is paid the fair wages they deserve.”

The report produced by the Division of the Budget is required by the minimum wage statute to serve as vehicle for reviewing the state of the economy in each region and the effect of minimum wage increases to determine whether increases move forward as scheduled or if there should be a delay.

Key findings from the Division of the Budget’s Minimum Wage Report include:

• In September 2018, the state’s unemployment rate fell to a historic low of 3.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and has remained at or near this historic low since then.

• Through the first 10 months of 2019, the state unemployment rate has averaged 4 percent, and if that trend continues for the remaining two months, 2019 will represent the lowest record on an annual average basis since the 1970s.

• Private sector jobs are expected to grow at a still healthy pace of 1.2 percent in 2020, following 1.4 percent growth in 2019.

• New York State wages are rising, supported by the increase in minimum wage. Household income in New York State rose 2.5 percent in 2018 compared to a nationwide increase of only 0.8 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

• New York State wages are expected to continue to grow amid a tight labor market.

• The number of minimum wage workers is projected to rise to about 1.5 million in 2020 comprising 16.4 percent of the workforce, suggesting that well over one million New York State workers will have likely benefitted from the State’s rising minimum wage since 2013.

• The percentage of part-time workers is expected to drop from 52.1 percent in 2009 to 41.2 percent by 2020.

• The minimum wage workforce has gotten older and is more likely to be working full time. The percent of workers ages 16-24 are expected to drop from 41.4 percent in 2009 to 31.3 percent by 2020.

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