Last Wednesday, the Governor’s Office released a report prepared by the state Department of Labor that highlights the benefits of raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years. According to the report, the increase would result in 2.3 million New Yorkers earning higher salaries, leading to increased spending power by more than $15.7 billion.
Under Gov. Cuomo’s plan, which was included in his proposed 2016-17 Executive Budget, the state’s minimum wage would go to $15 per hour in New York City by 2018 and to $15 statewide by mid-2021. The state has already put in place a phased-in $15 per hour minimum wage for fast-food workers and state workers.
We have taken a close look at this document, and to call it an ‘analysis’ is a stretch. Unfortunately, it is little more than a compilation of the claims that minimum wage advocates have been making for the past few years about how a minimum wage increase will “benefit” the economy.
We think that the public deserves – and lawmakers need – a thorough, objective and disinterested analysis of what the Governor is proposing. It’s not a question of whether it would impact businesses, non-profits, etc., it’s how it they would be impacted. How many job losses can be expected? How much will local governments have to raise taxes to cover their newly-imposed costs?
It’s time for lawmakers to move past the rhetoric and consider the real world impacts of a 67% increase in the state’s minimum wage. If you have not done so already, please visit the Minimum Wage Reality Check site and add your voice to our effort.