As we enter the homestretch of 2022, have you thought about what your New Year’s Resolutions will be? Of course not. Me neither. But it looks like by law, employers will already have one resolution laid out again this year – to pay minimum wage employees a historic increase in 2023.

The New York State Department of Labor announced its recommended minimum wage increase for the tenth year in a row. It’s a part of the state’s continued long-term plan to make incremental changes to the wage until it reaches $15 per hour. For all areas outside of downstate, it’s record-breaking.

Why This Year's New York Minimum Wage Increase Would Be Historic

This year's proposed minimum wage increase in New York State would be historic for Upstate.

NYC, Long Island, and Westchester County already hit their $15 per hour goal on New Year’s Eve of last year. If this year’s proposed hike is confirmed, starting December 31 the minimum wage for Upstate, Central, and Western New York workers will be at least $14.20 an hour.

At a full dollar more than the $13.20 instituted December 31, 2021, this is the largest minimum wage increase Upstate has ever had. This rate will be in effect through December 30, 2023 as long as it is fully accepted by state government. This year comes with a dramatic change in cash wage/tip wage balance for service employees, vastly lowering the cash wage.

Behind The Record-Breaking Increase

The proposed minimum wage increases in New York State to take effect on December 31, 2022
New York Department of Labor

The previous largest minimum wage uptick was $.90 in March 31, 2000, when New York raised pay from $4.25 to $5.15. The full dollar increase comes at a time when inflation and economic turmoil are on everyone’s minds. Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon says, “continuing with the multi-year plan to raise the minimum wage is in line with market standards and ensures that no worker is left behind.”

The New York Department of Labor says an average of 200,000 workers in each county will be affected by the increase. Based on 40-hour weeks at 50 weeks a year, the new minimum wage would give Upstate workers a pre-tax salary of around $28,400.

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