Minimum wage moves closer to goal of $15 an hour with increase now in effect

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Minimum wage has gone up a dollar for Upstate New York. More money in your pocket. Minimum wage went from $13.20 to $14.20 per hour. This is another phase of Governor Kathy Hochul’s effort to get the Empire State to $15 an hour.

“This comes at a time where we’re experiencing high inflation, so I’m sure for a lot of people, this is a welcome development,” Rochester Works Executive Director Dave Seeley said.

The $15 minimum wage phase process is for upstate counties. Workers outside New York City, Long Island and Westchester County, will see an increase of $1 in their paychecks. Governor Kathy Hochul says just about 200,000 people will benefit from it. Rochester Works says this is significant to the average worker post COVID.

“For a worker on a full time basis this is thousands of dollars, and it’s been a gradual increase, but getting into the mindset of the average worker, now post COVID, and in this inflation, wages are still the most important thing when someone is looking at a job,” Seeley added.

Rochester Works helps people across Monroe County snag jobs, and create career paths. Seeley says he wants to see minimum wage get to $15 per hour, and says higher minimum wage should be normalized.

“Even though that’s not written anywhere into law, I think for our region in the mindset, $15 is where I need to be, to kind of start off in order to be competitive with the labor market.”