Warren County is used to out-of-state competition for things ranging from tax rates and fuel prices to customers and employees.
The minimum wage in New York State will soon be nearly double that of Pennsylvania.
In New York, the rate for non-exempt workers increases to $14.20 effective December 31, 2022. It will continue to increase until it reaches $15 per hour, according to minimum wage law .
In Pennsylvania, the minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour. The state last changed this rate in 2008, when a 10-cent increase was applied to the previous rate of $7.15.
The state minimum matches the federal minimum.
There was a change to Pennsylvania’s minimum wage law this year that impacts tipped workers.
The threshold at which a tipped worker’s employer can reduce their hourly wages has been increased from $30 per month to $135 per month.
Other changes were proposed, but not approved.
In Warren County, which has neighbors to the north at the higher minimum, businesses have had to adapt, according to the Warren County Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Chamber Operations Manager John Papalia surveyed numerous county employers and received 10 responses.
“The consensus was that the New York wage increase won’t have much of an impact on many of our employers,” Papalia said. “Companies paid competitively and above the minimum.”
“There is work in Warren at competitive rates,” he said. “Wages have increased over the past two years to stay competitive with the market and attract workers to companies.”
Companies starting at or around the minimum were not among those who responded, Papalia said.
These employers could see some loss as workers head north with the promise of greener paychecks.
And, while some employees are undoubtedly looking north, there’s no similar automatic incentive for those living in New York to look south of the border.
Papalia suggested that companies have had to find ways to make seasonal and part-time jobs more attractive as wages rise in New York.
In Pennsylvania, hourly wages for tipped workers can be reduced to $2.83 per hour, but they must still earn at least $7.25 per hour.
In New York, food service workers who receive tips cannot receive a base salary of less than $8.80. This change came into effect this year. Tipped workers in other industries must currently be paid at least $11.00 per hour.