THE BRONX - New York State is set to raise its minimum wage throughout 2014.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has approved three incremental bumps to the minimum wage. The first is set to take effect on Dec. 31, raising the minimum wage to $8 an hour, 75 cents higher than the current rate. At the end of 2014, the minimum wage will increase again to $8.75 an hour and will be raised to $9 in 2015.
For months, News 12 has been reporting on fast-food workers unhappy with their current wages, even holding several protests and walkouts in cities around the country, including New York. Many workers are asking to be paid a minimum of $15 an hour, more the double the minimum wage.
News 12 spoke to people working on Southern Boulevard. Most of them say that they make minimum wage and are happy to hear their pay is about to increase, pointing out that the cost of living is extremely high in New York City. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the city has the highest cost of living for families in the U.S.
The current median pay for fast-food workers across the country is just over $9 an hour, yielding around $18,500 per year, nearly $5,000 below the poverty line.