Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
In case you haven't noticed, living in New York is expensive. Like, $10 for a sandwich expensive. So, you'll hear a collective sigh of relief as the minimum wage increases from $7.25 to $8 per hour starting tomorrow. By collective sigh, we mean, of course, the more than 700,000 people who will benefit from the higher pay. But, this is only a temporary measure: Last March, the state budget deal required an increase to $9. To make things more manageable for employers, however, the raise is spread out over three years. So, in 2015, workers will see $8.75 per hour and by 2016, they'll enjoy the full $9.
This is the first increase in minimum wage New York has seen in four years. And, our state is one of 20 that now pay more than federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Of course, while this increase may go a long way in some parts of the state, those living in and around NYC may still find it difficult to see the benefits of the extra $0.75 per hour. Plus, those who live and/or work in New York City pay approximately 3% more of their paychecks in income taxes. Paying those workers a rate that is higher than the new state requirement would have an even greater impact on their quality of life. Until then, hats off to the New Year — and new wages. (NY Mag)