BUSINESSPEOPLE SIGN ON HERE. In 2016, New York State enacted minimum wage increases to $15 on different timetables for Upstate, Long Island/Westchester, and New York City, but did not include future cost of living adjustments after reaching $15. New legislation proposes to fix this.
As business leaders, we support raising New York’s minimum wage. We can’t build a shared recovery and resilient economy on a minimum wage that’s too low to live on. Raising the minimum wage boosts consumer buying power, so workers can afford to buy what businesses are selling.
Fair pay is good business. Low-wage businesses have more trouble hiring and retaining workers. Raising the minimum wage pays off in lower turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, fewer errors, increased productivity, and better customer service.
We support legislation that would adjust New York minimum wage annually to keep up with the rising cost of living and worker productivity so that the minimum wage does not lose value. The minimum wage would increase as follows, starting January 1, 2023:
- Upstate: Upstate New York is currently on a path to reach a $15 minimum wage using a formula for annual increases that combines cost of living and productivity. The new legislation would specify the steps for reaching $15, going from the current $13.20 to $14.20 in 2023 and $15.10 in 2024, then to $15.75 in 2025, and then continue to annually adjust the minimum wage with the already established formula. (See table of increases below.)
- Long Island and Westchester: Increase the current $15 minimum wage to $16 in 2023, $17.20 in 2024, and $17.95 in 2025, and then annually adjust it with the formula combining cost of living and productivity that was used to increase the upstate minimum wage. (See table below.)
- New York City: Increase the NYC minimum wage (which has not been raised since taking the final step to $15 on 12/31/19) to restore its eroded buying power. NYC minimum wage would increase to $17 in 2023, $18.80 in 2024, and $20.45 in 2025, and then adjust in subsequent years for cost of living and productivity. (See table below.)
Proposed Minimum Wage Increases By Region
Upstate LI/Westchester New York City
Current $13.20 $15.00 $15.00
2023 $14.20 $16.00 $17.00
2024 $15.10 $17.20 $18.80
2025* $15.75 $17.95 $20.45
* Minimum wages would be annually adjusted in future years using the current upstate indexing formula combining cost of living and productivity.
LARGER CONTEXT ON MINIMUM WAGES ABOVE $15
Multiple states and localities have minimum wages that are adjusted annually and are already higher than $15 or will be shortly.
For example, the current minimum wage in Flagstaff, AZ is $15.50, Denver, CO is $15.87, and Sunnyvale and Mountain View, CA are $17.10. On July 1, 2022, Washington, D.C. will increase to $16.10 and San Francisco will go to $16.99 and continue to increase annually. Washington State will go above $15 on Jan. 1, 2023 because of annual indexing; Seattle is already higher at $17.27 an hour. Connecticut’s state minimum wage will reach $15 in 2023 and will go above $15 in 2024 when annual indexing begins.
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