Connecticut’s minimum wage increases again, to $14 an hour on July 1. This will not be the last increase | Company

The Hartford Current

Connecticut’s minimum wage rises to $14 an hour on July 1, up $1 and encourages low-wage workers while adding to business owners’ concerns about labor shortages and labor shortages. ‘inflation.

This is the fourth annual increase since 2019 and the next increase, to $15 an hour, is set for June 1, 2023, following a national campaign led by unions and their allies in the legislatures of the United States. States. The increases will be automatic from 2024, indexed to an index calculated by the US Department of Labor.

State Law signed by Governor Ned Lamont in 2019 when the minimum wage was $10.10 an hour. Businesses, especially small employers. fiercely opposed the legislation, deeming it financially burdensome and undermining workplace flexibility.

“Businesses are having such a hard time finding people,” said Eric Gjede, vice president of government affairs at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. “That’s a bigger priority.”

Lamont said incremental increases would be easier for businesses to absorb. Critics say the minimum wage is rising steadily, regardless of changing economic conditions.

Since the law took effect three years ago, the economy briefly slipped into recession during the pandemic in 2020, rebounded last year and is now plagued by the highest inflation in more than 40 years. Another recession could be in the works if higher interest rates designed by the Federal Reserve to cool inflation jump the mark and stifle business activity.

The Connecticut Food Association had this in mind when it urged state lawmakers in 2019 to extend minimum wage increases for six years without indexation.

“We advocate a measured and thoughtful approach that parallels Connecticut’s economic growth and future,” Trade Group Chairman Wayne Pesce said at the time.

A possible increase to $15 an hour would make a “huge difference” for workers in industries as varied as fast food and health care, Beverley Brakeman, a United Auto Workers regional official, told lawmakers at the time. that they were considering legislation.

Both sides of the debate were exposed in May 2019 when the state House of Representatives voted 85 to 59 to raise the minimum wage following a marathon 14-hour debate that lasted all night.

The heavily partisan debate began at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday and ended with an 85-59 vote shortly after noon.

As of January 1, Connecticut’s minimum wage was the sixth highest in the United States, behind Washington, D.C. ($15.20), Washington State ($14.49), Massachusetts ($14.20) , California ($14) and New York ($13.20). according at the US Department of Labor.

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