Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a press release this week announced that as the result of a new law he signed last year, Connecticut’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase from the current rate of $9.15 an hour to $9.60 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016. The change is the second in a series of three scheduled increases under the adopted legislation, which will ultimately see the state’s minimum wage increase to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017.
“Nobody who works full-time should live in poverty. We believe hardworking men and women, many of whom are supporting families, deserve fair wages,” Malloy said, according to the press release. “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.”
“Raising the wage is critical to bolstering economic stability, especially among households headed by women and minorities,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, according to the press release. “In Connecticut, more than 60 percent of the minimum wage workforce is made up of women. This pay increase will help us narrow wage gaps, but it’s also part of broader efforts to ensure that full time workers can afford to work and live in Connecticut.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the press release said, 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.
“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,” Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer said, according to the press release. “Paying a higher wage helps companies retain skilled employees, and this translates to increased productivity, better customer service, and a stronger economy.”
Under Section 31-60 of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Connecticut minimum wage rates for service employees, specifically restaurant and hotel staff, are determined by using a formula that takes tip deductions into account.