Connecticut minimum wage to increase in new year

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HARTFORD–A previously-announced minimum wage increase will go into effect in Connecticut on January 1, 2016.

The minimum wage will now be $9.60 per hour, up from $9.15. This is the second of three planned increases, which will eventually bring the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 on January 1, 2017.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, though many states have higher minimum wages.

“Nobody who works full-time should live in poverty. We believe hardworking men and women, many of whom are supporting families, deserve fair wages,” Gov. Dan Malloy said. “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.”

The minimum wage is different for employees who receive tips, such as waiters, and takes those deductions into account.

A press release from Malloy’s office says that the U.S. Department of Labor has reported that a July survey conducted by the Small Business Majority shows 3/5 of small business owners who have employees support gradual minimum wage increases.

“An increase in the minimum wage makes economic sense because the result is more money in the hands of people who will spend it and invest in our local businesses,” state Department of Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer said.  “Paying a higher wage helps companies retain skilled employees, and this translates to increased productivity, better customer service, and a stronger economy.”

There has been a nationwide movement to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, with home care aides, nursing assistants, fast food workers and others protesting.