NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Minimum-wage workers in New York will get to ring in the new year with a raise.
A $15 hourly rate – up from $13 – kicks in on Dec. 31 for the city’s fast food workers and employees of businesses with 11 or more people.
Workers on Long Island will also see their minimum pay go from $11 to $12 on New Year’s Eve.
New wage requirements will take effect in 20 states and nearly two dozen cities around the start of the new year, affecting millions of workers around the U.S.
Seattle’s largest employers will have to pay workers at least $16 an hour starting Tuesday. New York City’s new rate is more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.
FOR MORE ON THE CHANGES COMING TO NEW YORK STATE’S MINIMUM WAGE LAWS: Click Here
The state and local wage laws come amid a multi-year push by unions and liberal advocacy groups to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide. Few are there yet, but many states have ratcheted up wages through phased-in laws and adjustments for inflation.
The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009. Since then, 29 states, the District of Columbia and dozens of other cities and counties have set minimum wages above the federal floor. Some have repeatedly raised their rates.
The move does come with controversy however, as some economic analysts claim pay raises will only mean higher prices for goods and services.
In May, researchers at the University of Washington determined that Seattle’s initial increase to $11 an hour had an insignificant effect on employment, but that the hike to $13 an hour resulted in “a large drop in employment.”
They said the higher minimum wage led to a 6.9 percent decline in the hours worked for those earning under $19 an hour, resulting in a net reduction in paychecks.
In October, however, those same researchers reached a contrasting conclusion. They said Seattle workers employed at low wages experienced a modest reduction in hours worked after the minimum wage increased, but nonetheless saw a net increase in average pretax earnings of $10 a week.
That gain generally went to those who already had been working more hours while those who had been working less saw no significant change in their overall earnings.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)