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Wages

Employee Compensation Continues to Rise

From NAM Input (National Association of Manufacturers)

American workers saw their pay and benefits increase 0.7 percent in the first quarter, reports the AP. More:

  • “The data, released Tuesday by the Labor Department, suggests that growth in workers’ compensation has stalled in recent months. In the first quarter, wages and benefits increased 2.8% compared with a year earlier.”
  • “That’s down slightly from a 2.9% annual gain in the final quarter of 2018. Still, workers’ compensation has picked up slowly. Five years ago, quarterly gains were closer to 0.4%.”
  • “The job market is very tight, with the unemployment rate at 3.8%, near a 50-year low, and there are more open jobs than unemployed workers. That has pushed up wages over time, though the gains aren’t as healthy as they were the last time the jobless rate was this low.”

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll finds that Americans haven’t been this confident in their personal finances since 2002. More from The Hill:

  • “A Gallup poll released Tuesday found that 56 percent of respondents felt positively about their finances, with 12 percent rating their personal financial holdings as ‘excellent’ and 44 percent rating them as ‘good.’”
  • “That overall confidence score is 10 points higher than in 2015, according to a Gallup poll taken at the time.”
  • “Of those surveyed, 57 percent said that their financial outlook was improving year-to-year, an uptick of 10 points over a Gallup survey taken in 2016, according to a press release. That percentage is also the highest registered in Gallup surveys since 2002.”

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New York Minimum Wage Increases

 

From Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions, a Council of Industry Associate Member

An increase in the minimum wage, intended to eventually bring New York’s state minimum wage to $15 an hour, went into effect on December 31.

As a result of a measure signed into law in April 2016, the state will continue to see minimum wage increases implemented on a regional basis. The state’s current basic minimum wage is $10.40 an hour.

Under this law, New York City employers with 11 or more employees will see the minimum wage go to $15 an hour on December 31. New York City employers with fewer than 11 employees will see the minimum wage increase to $13.50 on December 31 and rise $1.50 next year, reaching $15 at the end of 2019.

Long Island and Westchester counties will see the minimum wage rise to $12 on December 31 and then go up $1 per year, reaching $15 at the end of 2021.

The rest of the state will see the minimum wage hit $11.10 on December 31 and go up 70 cents per year until it reaches $12.50 at the end of 2020. After that, the minimum wage will continue to increase to $15 an hour on an indexed schedule.

The law contains a “safety valve” that will allow state officials beginning in 2019 to consider the effects of wage increases on regional economies before permitting scheduled increases to go into effect.

The minimum salary required for administrative and executive employees to be exempt from overtime pay in New York State is set to increase as well. Beginning December 31, 2018, the salary thresholds are as follows:

  •             NYC employers with 11 or more employees, $1,125 per week.
  •             NYS employers with 10 or fewer employees, $1,012.50 per week.
  •             For Nassau, Westchester, and Suffolk County employers, $900 per week.
  •             For other employers, $832 per week.

We are currently reviewing all employee pay rates and will be in touch shortly to discuss any necessary pay adjustments. If you have any questions, please contact us at 845-471-1200

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