Upstate minimum wage to hit $12.50 an hour on December 31

NYS Capitol

NYS Capitol

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Upstate New York’s minimum wage will increase to $12.50 an hour on December 31, the Department of Labor has announced. The raise is part of the minimum wage phase in taking place across the state.

The phase in was announced after a statutorily required report by the Division of the Budget found the Upstate’s labor market is amongst those leading New York’s economic recovery from the downturn caused by the global pandemic.

“Even as we continue to battle the pandemic, we are working to build back in an equitable and just way.

Before this crisis, we achieved record low unemployment rates while increasing the minimum wage — improving the lives of thousands of New Yorkers — and we will rebuild our economy while continuing to lead the nation in the fight for economic justice. This investment in our workers once again proves that in New York we believe a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon

Other findings in the report include:

  • Just prior to the pandemic, the State achieved a record low unemployment rate of 3.7% while raising the minimum wage for four years.
  • The Long Island/Westchester county regional unemployment rate has fallen from its April peak of 15.9 percent to 7.1 percent in October, while the remainder of Upstate has fallen from its 15.4 percent April peak to 6.8 percent in October.
  • According the December edition of the Federal Reserve Beige Book, as employment rebounds Upstate, an employment agency observed: “scattered signs of a pickup in hiring, especially for lower-wage workers” and “particular difficulty in recruiting customer-service representatives.” The agency also noted “a particular upward trend in wages at the lower end of the pay scale.”
  • The report concludes: close examination of the available economic data by region suggests that the labor market recoveries on Long Island and in Westchester and the remainder of Upstate are proceeding apace and are not likely to be substantially harmed by the minimum wage increases scheduled for the end of this year

The minimum wage in New York City is set to increase to $15 an hour for companies with 10 or fewer employees. Companies with more than 10 employees have had to pay $15 an hour since the end of 2018.

Long Island & Westchester’s minimum wage will increase to $14 an hour, and is scheduled to increase to $15 an hour on December 31, 2021.

No further increases for the rest of New York State are currently scheduled. Future increases will be based on an indexed schedule to be set by the Director of the Division of the Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor following an annual review of the impact


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