As of January 1, fast food workers in the five boroughs will see their wages go up to $10.50 an hour while fast-food workers outside the city will make $9.75. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are ringing in the New Year with a raise - as the statewide minimum wage gets a boost.

The upcoming year should be a bit easier for Jorel Ware and his family. They live in the South Bronx and while Ware works full-time for McDonalds, his family needs food stamps and Medicaid to get by.

"What's the point of working a full-time job if you cannot go home and support your family?" Ware asked. "I mean, it makes no sense. We're just making the company richer."

But now he's getting a raise. On Thursday, fast food workers in the city began making at least $10.50 an hour, up from the old minimum of $8.75. And the minimum for tipped workers, like waiters, went up to $7.50.

"Just kinda excited today," Ware said. "Today is a special day for all of us in fast-food."

Minimum wage employees who work for the state also got a boost, to $10.50 an hour for those based in the city.

"New York is not just another state, my friends," said Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "New York is the progressive capital of the nation."

Governor Cuomo who enacted the increases with wage boards he appointed, and Mayor Bill de Blasio —who marched with striking workers — have framed the pay hikes as a way to help address income inequality.

"You know what you did? You changed things," the mayor said.

But most Republicans in the Legislature opposed the increases. And earlier this week, the New York State Restaurant Association warned Albany that businesses would fail if the higher wages took effect. 

But Jorel Ware is hopeful.

"We're getting acknowledged by the whole world, the politicians and everybody else and it's a wonderful feeling because last year, everybody thought this was impossible and we did the impossible," he said.

The increases are not over. On New Year's Eve 2018, three years from now, fast-food workers and state employees in the city will receive $15 an hour, making New York the first state with plans to pay public sector employees such a high minimum wage. 

Meanwhile, the minimum wage for other workers in the state increased a quarter to $9 an hour. That under a law the legislature and Cuomo approved nearly three years ago.

Cuomo has said he wants to make $15 an hour the standard minimum for everyone.