Upstate minimum wage poised to rise to $13.20 an hour

By Published On: September 27th, 2021Categories: Capitol Notes

The upstate minimum wage is set to increase 70 cents in January as the result of recommendations from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Division of Budget.

On Monday, the DOB release a report making the case for raising the upstate minimum wage from $12.50 an hour to $13.20 an hour at the end of the year. The report also approves a pre-planned increase of the minimum wage in the New York City suburbs from $14 an hour to $15 an hour.

The increases are the product of the 2016 language approved by state lawmakers and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which built in a process empowering the DOB to authorize minimum wage hikes until the entire state was at a minimum wage of $15 an hour. At the time, it was broadly assumed that the entire state would reach that magic threshold, but it wasn’t clear when it would happen.

This year’s  justification for the higher rates in the New York City suburbs and upstate is based on a 12-page report, which was due by the end of the week.

If you’re curious how the state calculated the amount of increase for upstate, here is your answer from the report: “We therefore recommend that the Upstate minimum wage rise by the sum of both consumer price inflation, as measured by growth in the CPI-W, and labor productivity growth, for the period ending in June of the prior year.”

It’s not clear what this decision will mean for the upstate labor market, as employers all over the state have had to increase wages beyond what was traditionally offered to address a labor shortage across industries.