New York State should gradually raise the minimum wage to more than $21 an hour by 2026

New Yorkers need wages they can live on. But with prices rising at the fastest pace in 40 years, the value of New York’s current $15 minimum wage—which has not increased since late 2018has already fallen by 15% and will fall by more than 30% by 2026 unless the legislature acts. In addition, New York’s eroding minimum wage is reversing the significant reductions in poverty and earnings inequality achieved by the $15 minimum wage.

The Raise Up New York (RUNY) coalition and underpaid workers across the state are calling on lawmakers to enact the Raise the Wage Act to restore New York’s minimum wage. Albany needs to “catch up” the minimum wage to where it would be if it had been updated every year since it hit $15—and to then adjust the minimum wage each year going forward so that it keeps up with rising prices and gains in labor productivity. The Raise the Wage Act would deliver just that and raises of more than $3,300 a year for 2.9 million workers state-wide, including 1.8 million workers of color and 1.6 million women.

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