New York moves forward with $15 minimum wage despite labor shortage

State News

NEW YORK (WWTI) — New York State is continuing with its plan to implement its $15 minimum wage.

The New York State Department of Labor announced on Monday that the state’s minimum wage phase-in will continue. The next steps are set to take effect on December 31, 2021.

According to the DOL, this next phase will require the minimum wage to be increased to $15 per hour on Long Island and Westchester, matching the minimum wage already set in New York City. All other areas will be required to raise the minimum wage to $13.20 per hour based on economic factors and indices.

Below is the general minimum wage scheduled for New York State.

12/31/1612/31/1712/31/1812/31/1912/31/2012/31/21
NYC- 11 or more employees$11.00$13.00$15.00$15.00$15.00$15.00
NYC- 10 or fewer employees$10.50$12.00$13.50$15.00$15.00$15.00
Long Island and Westchester$10.00$11.00$12.00$13.00$14.00$15.00
Remainder of New York State$9.70$10.40$11.10$11.80$12.50$13.20

This announcement follows a required report by the Division of the Budget, which found evidence of pressure for wages to rise in the midst of the ongoing labor shortage.

“Companies, particularly those that employ low-wage workers, are already raising wages and in some cases offering incentives to hire amid a labor shortage that is showing no sign of abating, and it makes sense to raise the wage floor now and continue supporting New York’s families while providing a predictable path forward for businesses,” Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said in a press release. “With today’s action, we are continuing the work of building back with equity and justice.”

Findings from the Division of the Budget’s Minimum Wage Report included that the low-wage sector was the most impacted by the pandemic. The report stated that 57.2% of the private sector losses were in retail trade, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality. Additionally, results from the Survey of Consumer Expectations suggested that the pandemic has caused some workers to reassess the value of their labor.

The DOL stated that future increases in the remainder of New York State will be based on an indexed schedule. This will 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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