New York – The state of New York will raise the minimum wage for all its employees to 15 dollars an hour, the governor, Andrew Cuomo, has said.
The move will make it the first US state to set such high rate for its public sector workers as the US federal minimum wage is currently 7.25 dollars.
Cuomo said the increase would be implemented gradually, with state workers in New York City earning at least 15 dollars an hour beginning in 2019 and those in the rest of the state in July, 2021.
“I believe that if you work hard and work full time, you should not be condemned to live in poverty.
“Yet, millions of families nationwide continue to be left behind by an insufficient minimum wage, and it’s time that changed,” he said.
The current minimum wage in New York State is 8.75 dollars, increased from 7.25 dollars in 2013.
The decision to increase wages for public sector workers followed a decision by New York State to set the minimum wage for fast food workers at 15 dollars an hour.
Cuomo had proposed raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars across all industries in the state, which would have a direct impact on 2.3 million people state-wide.
New York State has a population of 19.75 million, with 8.4 million in New York City.
According to US Census Bureau, New York State’s poverty rate stands at 15.9 per cent, while New York City’s is at 20.3 per cent, both above the US national average of 14.8 per cent (dpa/NAN)