Pexels Stock Image.ALBANY – The minimum wage in Upstate New York’s will increase to $12.50 an hour on December 31.The State’s Department of Labor announced on Wednesday the raise is part of the minimum wage phase in taking place across the state.The phase in was announced after a report by the Division of the Budget found the Upstate’s labor market is amongst those leading New York’s economic recovery from the downturn caused by the global pandemic.Other findings in the report include: Just prior to the pandemic, the State achieved a record low unemployment rate of 3.7% while raising the minimum wage for four years.The Long Island/Westchester county regional unemployment rate has fallen from its April peak of 15.9 percent to 7.1 percent in October, while the remainder of Upstate has fallen from its 15.4 percent April peak to 6.8 percent in October.According the December edition of the Federal Reserve Beige Book, as employment rebounds Upstate, an employment agency observed: “scattered signs of a pickup in hiring, especially for lower-wage workers” and “particular difficulty in recruiting customer-service representatives.” The agency also noted “a particular upward trend in wages at the lower end of the pay scale.”The report concludes: close examination of the available economic data by region suggests that the labor market recoveries on Long Island and in Westchester and the remainder of Upstate are proceeding apace and are not likely to be substantially harmed by the minimum wage increases scheduled for the end of this yearThe minimum wage in New York City is set to increase to $15 an hour for companies with 10 or fewer employees. Companies with more than 10 employees have had to pay $15 an hour since the end of 2018.Long Island & Westchester’s minimum wage will increase to $14 an hour, and is scheduled to increase to $15 an hour on December 31, 2021.No further increases for the rest of New York State are currently scheduled. Future increases will be based on an indexed schedule to be set by the Director of the Division of the Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor following an annual review of the impact.Last week some lawmakers, including local Senator George Borrello, called on the Governor to hold off on rising the state’s minimum wage in an effort to help businesses already struggling due to COVID-19. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
THE Centre for Guyanese Progress has issued scholarships to three students of St George’s High School – Curwin Glasgow, Ezekiel Pellew and Sierra Samuels. They were selected for their sporting and academic performances and the enormous economic challenges they face, the entity stated in a release.The students, who have shown significant potential in sports, have been doing well but have been handicapped holistically owing to economic and financial difficulties they have been encountering.The scholarship, an initiative of a teacher at the school, Mashaka Scott, was presented yesterday after a brief ceremony. Acting head teacher, Donna Zammett said that she was moved by the performances and significant potential of the students, so she endorsed the initiative and the request was made to the NGO for assistance.“These three students have been doing very well but because of the difficulties and challenges that they are faced with, it’s very hard for their parents to take care of their academic pursuits,” Zammett said.She said she was pleased with the response. It demonstrated its founders’ genuine interest in education and sport development.“I was moved by the instant positive response and to see that they were readily prepared to come on board to lend valuable support. That stood out in my mind.“I trust that others would emulate the efforts and actions of these young men as it is an indication that we still have persons in this country who care about the growth and development of others, especially our children,” Zammett added.Miss Scott said that the students will receive support in acquiring school texts, sporting gear, stationery, books and financial assistance in getting to and from school. “I was pleased with the package that was put together for the students and I trust that other persons, companies and organisations would seek to come on board and help so that we can reach more students as I can tell you that there are quite a number of students who definitely need the assistance that these students are receiving,” she said.Scott said the students were elated to have received the support and help.“The parents are extremely happy as it is certainly a significant help to them especially in a time like this and further the students themselves know that they can achieve more because of the support and assistance, which should result in better and improved grades resulting in a more rounded individual,” Scott said.Gavin, speaking at the presentation, said that they started the NGO with the intention of providing needed help. They were approached and immediately agreed to help, recognising that education is one of the most important pillars in society. He said that they will continue to support similar initiatives and projects, stressing that they welcome requests and would seek to assist as much as they can.The three students, expressed their thanks and gratitude, while reminding their head teacher that they will not disappoint them as they are focussed on doing their best.