CT minimum wage jumps to $9.15 an hour in the new year

Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase to $9.15 an hour at the start of the new year. The current minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.70 per hour.

The increase is the result of a new law signed earlier this year by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that mandates a series of increases in the state’s minimum wage through 2017.

Following the increase on Jan. 1, 2015, there are two more scheduled under the adopted law:

— to $9.60 on Jan. 1, 2016

— to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017

Up to 90,000 earn minimum in CT

Out of Connecticut’s workforce of 1.7 million people, it is estimated 70,000 to 90,000 workers now earn the minimum wage.

The minimum wage in Connecticut had been $8.25 before changing to $8.70 an hour on Jan. 1, 2014.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and it was last increased in 2009.

President Barack Obama has pushed to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and visited Connecticut to promote that view in March 2014. He spoke at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

Should boost families, the economy

“Connecticut was the first state in the nation to commit to increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour,” said Malloy, “because we want to make sure that no one who works full time lives in poverty.”

“This latest increase is just one more part of a phased-in series of gradual increases for hard-working men and women, many of whom are supporting their families and who will put this increase directly into Connecticut’s economy,” said Malloy, a Democrat just elected to a second term in November.

Sharon M. Palmer, state labor commissioner, said the state “is taking the right step in its efforts to provide a better wage for lower-income workers. This phased-in increase will help families support themselves, and in turn will help grow Connecticut’s economy.”

Restaurant and bar workers

Under state law, the Connecticut minimum wage rates for service employees, specifically restaurant waitpersons or bartenders, are determined by using a formula that takes tip deductions into account.

These rates can be found on the state Department of Labor’s website at www.ct.gov/dol or by contacting the Labor Department’s Division of Wage and Workplace Standards at 860-263-6790.