HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase 69 cents beginning on Jan. 1, 2024, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday.

The state’s minimum wage will increase from $15 per hour to $15.69 per hour due to the state’s first-ever economic indicator adjustment. Lamont’s office states the increase will impact Connecticut’s 160,000 to 200,000 minimum-wage workers.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, and occurring annually each on Jan. 1 after that, the state’s minimum wage will be adjusted according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s calculation of the employment cost index for the 12-month period ending on June 30 of the preceding year.

“This is a fair, modest increase and the money earned will be spent right back into our own economy and support local businesses,” Lamont said.

Connecticut Labor Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo said the employment cost index increased by 4.6% over the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2023, accounting for the $0.69 increase.

The minimum wage rate has steadily increased since the General Assembly passed proposed changes in 2019. The bump is spread out over five years.

The first increase was to $11 on Oct. 1, 2019. It reached $12 on Sept. 1, 2020, $13 on Aug. 1, 2021, $14 on July 1, 2022 and $15 on June 1, 2023.

The law requires the state’s Department of Labor commissioner to review this percentage change and then announce any adjustments by Oct. 15 of each year.

The O.L. Willard Company in Willimantic has seen impacts from the increase.

“Obviously ,we’re always trying to keep an eye on payroll, but I think it’s necessary,” said Rich Swart, the store’s manager.

He has about nine full-timers and six part-timers, and while the increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour has caused the business to have to watch overtime and other costs, Swart sees it as a benefit to his employees.

“Things don’t go down in price yearly it goes up,” he said. “So, I think it’s for the good.”