January 1, 2006. On January 1, 2006, the second step of a 3-step increase in New York State’s minimum wage (from $6 an hour to $6.75 an hour) takes effect. Opponents of the minimum wage are again arguing that such an increase will hurt the very workers that it is intended to help by resulting in a reduction in the number of jobs and work hours provided by low wage  employers.  But this preliminary assessment -of the impact of the first step of this phased increase in the minimum wage – indicates that the opposite happened, following the January 1, 2005, increase from $5.15 an hour to $6 an hour.