NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Things were already looking up for minimum wage workers in New York and New Jersey when the new year arrived — they got a pay raise to kick off 2017.

A law signed in the spring by Governor Andrew Cuomo created a gradual minimum wage increase to $15 per hour in New York. The increase took effect on New Year’s Eve, and pay bumps will continue gradually until wages hit $15 — which would happen in 2021 for most of the state, 1010 WINS reported.

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In New York City, businesses with at least 11 employees will be paid $1 an hour with the hourly rate increasing by $2 every year until it hits $15, which is expected to happen at the end of 2018.

Smaller businesses increased their wages to $10.50, and will jump by $1.50 every year until 2019.

In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties the wage was bumped to $10 an hour with an annual increase of $1 bringing employees up to $15 by 2019.

Around the rest of the state wages were raised to $9.70 an hour with increases of  70 cents every year until they reach $12 an hour at which point they will increase until reaching $15 as well.

New York City fast food workers also saw their pay increase to $12 an hour, while fast food workers in the rest of the state will make $10.75.

The increase will be enforced by a task force of 200 investigators that will fan out across the state and make sure the new wage goes on the books and into employees’ pay checks.

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“This is not a voluntary effort,” the governor said, “It’s not that we are recommending a nice idea that businesses raise the wage. This is the law.”

The governor said the wage hike will help some 730,000 New Yorkers, and called it a myth that it’s about some kid with a minimum wage job flipping burgers.

He said half of those making minimum wage are over 35 years of age, 40 percent are married with a child.

In New Jersey the minimum wage was increased by 6 cents to $8.44.


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