Are we ever happy about how much money we make at our jobs? I'm guessing most of you would say no.

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I remember my first full-time job in radio in 1975. I was making the minimum wage at the time, $2.10. A whopping 84 dollars a week. But with no bills at the time, except paying for rent while living at my parent's house, the money was good.

It was on October 1, 1960, that New York State adopted a statewide minimum wage. That rate was 1 dollar an hour. It took 14 years to get up to 2 dollars an hour - May 1, 1974.

While the minimum wage is standard across the Empire State, on December 31, 2016, annual increases in the general minimum wage were determined by employment location, industry, and number of employees (in New York City only) according to the New York State Department of Labor. 

Fast Food employees in New York State reached a minimum of $15 on July 1, 2021, while the minimum wage was $13.20 an hour. On December 31, 2022, the minimum wage increased to $14.20 an hour.

The New York State Department of Labor notes that on December 31, 2023, the minimum wage for all of New York State, except Westchester, Suffolk, Nassau, and New York City, will be $15 an hour.

On January 1, 2024, for Tipped Service Employees, the cash wage will be $13.50 with a $2.50 tip credit. For Tipped Food Service Workers, the cash wage will be $10 and a $5 tip credit.

Sadly, in Pennsylvania, the basic minimum rate per hour is much lower, at $7.25. The NBC Philadelphia website noted that this past summer, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2026. The bill was then sent to the Pennsylvania Senate.

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