The state of New York has been gradually increasing the minimum wage over the years. I remember my first minimum wage job in the late '90s paid $5.80 per hour. I was pretty happy at the time with it being my first job since my paper route (but we don't really count that since I was not the best at waking up early to deliver them).

While the increase is more in the New York City area, up here in the Hudson Valley wages are now up to $10.40 per hour. This is part of New York's effort to gradually increase minimum wage up to $15 per hour.

I still haven't been sold on all of these increases to wages for unskilled jobs. This has been a debate for years now as some workers protested and fought for significantly higher wages. I'll never go out of my way to deny anyone a pay increase since everyone always wants that. I do notice some negative effects to this like McDonald's no longer has a dollar menu. (Tragic, I know.)

I hope that the end result of this is stimulation to the local economy, but unfortunately, I think it's only going to increase the cost of goods and services from companies that now have to pay higher wages. If that happens, the value of the dollar goes down. If it goes down too much, the cycle can begin all over again with another hike to minimum wage.