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Minimum wage now $13 an hour in Suffolk County

Workers in Suffolk County this month will see a hike in wages if they’re currently earning $12 an hour. The change will see a raise in the county to $13 an hour, on the way to $15 an hour.

The increase “brings economic justice to hardworking New Yorkers,” Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) said. The statewide minimum has been crawling upward in recent years, but Mr. Thiele said that for far too long, New Yorkers have been stuck in an unfair cycle.

“The Assembly majority has consistently fought to make better wages and equal opportunity a reality for all, not just the lucky few,” Mr. Thiele said. Since 2016, there has been a push for “sweeping changes to the state’s minimum wage laws [to] help ensure every New Yorker is given a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. “

Workers in Nassau and Westchester will see the same boost, while those in New York City will see a hike to $15 an hour. In the rest of the state, the minimum will go to $11.80 an hour.

Those opposed to the hikes have argued that raising wages would result in more unemployment, but that hasn’t been the case. Employment growth in New York has remained steady in recent years.

A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed sharp wage increases for leisure and hospitality workers in New York’s border counties have had no effect on employment rates in the region. Further analysis found no evidence of employment loss in other states where the minimum wage has increased. Those include California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.

Productivity through the years has increased while “hardworking families continue to struggle to make ends meet due to a lack of rising wages,” Mr. Thiele said. For more than four decades, minimum wage workers in the United States have seen pay “remain stagnant, preventing them from getting ahead and exacerbating already dangerous issues like inequality, food insecurity and poverty.”

Studies show a higher minimum wage “boosts employment and increases worker productivity due to greater motivation, a perception of fairness and improved health among employees.

This not only leads to better workplace environments, but will help lift New Yorkers out of poverty,” Mr. Thiele said.

The hikes will help fight wage inequality and level the playing field for women, he added, who comprise more than half of minimum wage workers across the United States.

Assembly members would continue to push legislation that ensures New Yorkers are treated fairly and given equal opportunities to succeed, the legislator said. “Raising the minimum wage is another step in the right direction toward making our state a better place to live, work and raise a family.”