On December 27, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul announced an increase in New York State’s minimum wage, set to take effect on January 1, 2024. This move is part of a multi-year plan designed to elevate the minimum wage and adjusting or “indexing” it to inflation. The change aims to benefit hundreds of thousands of minimum-wage workers across the state, providing them with a wage that better aligns with the rising costs of living.
The agreement between Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature establishes a new minimum wage of $16 per hour for New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, while the rest of the state will see an increase to $15 per hour.
As part of the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget, Governor Hochul secured an agreement to increase the state’s minimum wage through 2026, with indexing to inflation starting in 2027. Following the initial increase, minimum wage will see incremental raises of $0.50 in both 2025 and 2026. From 2027 onwards, the annual increase will be determined by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Northeast Region of the United States. This method ensures that the minimum wage keeps pace with inflation, maintaining the purchasing power of workers’ wages.
Minimum Wage Schedule:
Indexing the minimum wage to inflation is a move that aims to sustain the purchasing power of workers over time. Research indicates that these increases overwhelmingly benefit low-income workers, especially women and people of color, who represent a significant portion of minimum-wage workers. This initiative aligns New York with eighteen other states that either currently tie their minimum wage to inflation or plan to do so, with three of them already having a minimum wage at or above $15 in 2023.
The New York State Department of Labor is actively promoting awareness of the minimum wage increase and encouraging affected workers to report any discrepancies. Through digital outreach by social media, newsletters, and direct engagement with partnering organizations, the Department aims to inform workers about their increased entitlements. Minimum-wage earners who do not receive the increase are encouraged to file a wage complaint directly on the New York State Department of Labor’s website.
This minimum wage increase not only addresses the immediate financial concerns of low-wage workers but also aligns with broader economic benefits associated with higher minimum wages. With this step, New York hopes to see the positive impact that thoughtful wage policies can have on both workers and the economy at large.