Hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the United States are getting raises in 2017 as 19 states, including New York, raise the minimum wage for workers. This comes as a great relief for many workers, many of whom rely on their income, which for years has been argued as not being a sufficient “livable wage.”
New York has a few different laws in place, depending upon where you live in the state, and the type of work you do. For example, New York City workers will see a minimum wage of $11 per hour, $10 per hour for downstate suburbs and a minimum wage of $9.70 for the rest of the state. City employees will see a minimum wage of $10.50.
While raises come as much relief to many, others, including the Economic Policy Institute, or EPI, still believe that it is low when compared to costs in our rising economy. The federal minimum wage still sits at $7.25 per hour. According to the EPI, if the federal minimum wage kept up with rising productivity dating back from 1965, the fair rate would be almost $19 per hour.
The minimum wage became a rallying point and received a lot of attention during last year’s presidential elections, with Senator Bernie Sanders advocating for a $15 per hour minimum for employees, which has been applied in a few cities throughout the U.S. Still, the raise is a good start for all employees working at the minimum. It is important that all employees know about this raise, and make certain that their employers have implemented the new wages starting with the new year, to assure that all of an employee’s rights are properly met.
Source: Yahoo! News, “19 States Increase Minimum Wage at the Start of 2017,” Michael Edison Hayden, Jan. 2, 2017