The minimum wage is going up again in New York next year. And going forward, future wage increases will be tied to inflation.
For years, advocates have fought for the minimum wage to be tied to the Consumer Price Index, which is "a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What You Need To Know
- As part of the budget deal earlier this month, there will be an increase in minimum wage
- Wages will rise starting next year
- Future increases will be tied to inflation
That means that minimum wage workers in New York would see wage hikes tied to the cost of living and inflation.
This year, Gov. Kathy Hochul and legislators finally got it done.
"If costs go up, so will your wages," Hochul told reporters last month. "There are nearly 900,000 minimum wage workers in New York state. More likely women, more likely people of color and many are single moms. For them, this will be a lifeline."
According to the governor, inflation has driven the cost of living for low-income New Yorkers up 13% in just the last two years, making the time right for a minimum wage increase.
Minimum wage will go up by $1 to $16 next year for the city, Long Island and Westchester. And it will go up to $15 everywhere else in the state.
Wages will go up another 50 cents in both 2025 and 2026. And beginning in 2027, it will be tied to inflation.
"Indexing the minimum wage to inflation is historic," Democratic state Sen. Jessica Ramos of Queens said. "We've been trying to do this in New York state for a while now. I introduced a bill to do it a few years ago now, actually. But what was important was that we actually raise the minimum wage before indexing it to inflation because we wanted to make sure we weren't codifying poverty wages.”
Ramos, chair of the Labor Committee, and other advocates were pushing hard for a minimum wage of more than $21 per hour, but had to settle for $17 as part of the state budget deal.
"I am very disappointed because as it is, New York at $17 will be behind other places in Arizona, California and Washington state," Ramos said. "This is about keeping us competitive."
The last time the state raised the minimum wage was in 2015, and it was hard battle. But with this change, wages will automatically go up, eliminating the need to revisit the issue in Albany every few years.