A proposal by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul would peg minimum wage in that state to the Consumer Price Index for Wage Earnings for the Northeast Region — a regional measure of inflation. New York’s minimum wage would increase each year at a rate determined by the index.
“If we really want to tackle the affordability crisis head-on, we must recognize that low-wage workers in New York have been hit hardest by the increases in costs of living,” Hochul said. “Our common-sense plan to peg the minimum wage to inflation will not only put more money into the pockets of hundreds of thousands of hardworking New Yorkers, it will also provide predictability for employers and spur more spending in local economies and businesses.”
Annual increases in the minimum wage would be capped so that no single-year increase threatens employment. The proposal also allows for an “off ramp” in the event of certain economic or budget conditions.Seventeen other states already index their minimum wage to inflation, according to the proposal.
Hochul noted raising the minimum wage can lead to reductions in poverty and social assistance spending, among other benefits.
The current minimum wage for New York is $14.20 per hour, although it is $15 per hour in New York City, Long Island and Westchester.