The minimum wage in the Capital Region is scheduled to increase from $11.80 to $12.50 on December 31, 2020. Is this good news or will this have a negative impact? The increase of the minimum wage has caused debate all around the country each time it is proposed and both sides have valid arguments.

When I got my very first job my dad suggested that I photocopy my paystub for historical purposes. At the time I thought, why would I do that? During my recent move I stumbled upon that photocopy from 1984 and I was blown away to see the figures. I was compensated $3.35 an hour for a grand total of $67 before taxes! In the eighties I was thrilled to get paid anything. I used much of that money on gas and concert tickets. Today that would get me the gas.

Times change and along with that the cost of living changes. Even that $3.35 1984 minimum wage would be approximately $8 today and that isn't nearly enough. That is one reason that the minimum wage in the Capital Region will go to $12.50 this year and eventually $15 an hour. That will be determined by the commissioner of labor by October 2021.

This increase could be good news for workers needing more money for the basics of life. At the same time some would say raising the minimum wage has negative results. For example, the increased labor costs which could actually lead to layoffs of current employees. An increase in the minimum wage could force companies to raise their prices to recoup that money or possibly close up shop altogether.

According to the Economic Policy Institute much of the research done on this subject shows that these increases have worked as designed by raising pay for workers while having little to no impact on employment.

Compared to neighboring states we see the Capital Region paying the most behind Massachusetts at $12.75 then Connecticut at $12 and Vermont at $11.75 by the end of January.

Whether you are an employee or a business owner my wish for is is a prosperous 2021 enjoyed with good health.



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