NY State Minimum Wage Increases

Today 500,000 workers in New York State get a raise, as the state minimum wage goes up again. WNYC's Dan Blumberg reports

REPORTER: The minimum wage will go up another 40 cents to $7.15 an hour. The state has been phasing in the wage increase over the last 3 years.

State legislators passed the law because they were frustrated that the federal minimum wage of $5.15 hadn't budged since 1997. But when Democrats take over the House and Senate this month, they say one of their top priorities is to increase the wage that 5.6 million Americans earn to $7.25 an hour.

Previous efforts have been stymied by Republicans who say it would hurt businesses. Today's wage hike puts New York back on even footing with New Jersey, which has already raised its minimum wage to $7.15. For WNYC, I'm Dan Blumberg.

Connecticut's minimum wage earners will also get a raise today, up 25 cents to $7.65 an hour.