By Friday some workers in Connecticut will see a bump in their pay when the minimum wage jumps from $9.15 an hour to $9.60 an hour.
Under legislation signed in 2014, Connecticut’s minimum wage was scheduled to increase three times, reaching $10.10 an hour on Jan. 1, 2017.
The increase that will take effect for 2016 represents another 45 cent increase on the current rate, to $9.60-per-hour. The third increase will be 50 cents per hour to $10.10.
“We believe hardworking men and women, many of whom are supporting families, deserve fair wages,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement Monday. “I am proud that Connecticut has been a leader in promoting a higher hourly wage. It is a modest increase that will give working families a boost while also having stimulative economic effects.”
Out of Connecticut’s workforce of 1.7 million people, it is estimated that there are currently 70,000 to 90,000 workers who earn the minimum wage.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a July survey by the Small Business Majority shows that three out of five small business owners with employees support gradual increases in the minimum wage. The survey reports that small business owners believe an increase will put more money in the pocket of low-wage workers, who will then spend that money on items such as housing and food, which will help stimulate the economy.
The survey found 60 percent of small businesses nationwide support gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $12-per-hour by 2020 and adjusting it annually to keep pace with the cost of living.
Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, also applauded Connecticut’s progress toward a $10.10 an hour minimum wage.
“People who work full-time should be compensated with a living wage that allows them to care for their families,” Looney said. “A low minimum wage forces the government to subsidize the cost of employment while privatizing profits. As a result, the costs are shifted to government in the form of aid to low-wage workers. In Connecticut, we are leading the way in the fight to support workers and their families.”