In the State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a plan to raise the minimum wage annually by indexing it to inflation. Russell Weaver, an economic geographer with Cornell University’s ILR School Buffalo Co-Lab, says the bill could benefit roughly 3 million workers in the state, with women, workers of color and immigrants being more likely to see their wages increase.
“The New York State Legislature is weighing a bill to raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation. The current legislative proposal would raise New York’s minimum wage gradually to $20 by 2026 in upstate New York, catch it up to the statewide rate by 2027, and adjust it each year to keep pace with rising prices and worker productivity growth.
“Governor Hochul’s support for a measure like this one is a welcome sign that the state is serious about improving standards of living for the large fraction of New York workers who earn sub-living wages and struggle to meet the daily needs of their households.
“According to the recently released Cornell ILR Wage Atlas, roughly 3 million workers could benefit from the proposed bill, with women, workers of color and immigrants being disproportionately likely to see their wages increase. The Governor’s commitment to re-coupling the minimum wage with inflation is therefore a commitment to racial, social, and economic equality.”