Jobs, Wages & Income

Statement on Minimum Wage Announcement

March 31, 2016. The Fiscal Policy Institute is pleased to hear that a deal has been reached on increasing the minimum wage and that New York is on a path to $15 for all workers. This historic decision will provide wage increases to over 3.1 million New Yorkers that need and deserve a raise. Approximately 46 percent of workers benefiting from this increase, those in New York City, will see their wages rise to $15 per hour by the end … (read more)

Upstate-Downstate Wage Differentials are Relatively Small in Low-Wage Occupations

March 24, 2016. For the bulk of low-wage occupations most likely to be affected by a higher minimum wage, wage levels are fairly uniform between upstate and downstate. Phasing in the minimum wage increase over 6 years to 2021 for the upstate areas as opposed to 3 years for downstate provides ample time for upstate businesses whose wage levels generally are 5% to 10% lower than downstate to adjust to the higher wage floor. See the complete brief for further … (read more)

$15 Minimum Wage Would Raise Earnings for 1.1 Million Immigrants

March 23, 2016. In a brief, the Fiscal Policy Institute states that gradually raising the New York State minimum wage from its current level of $9/hour to $15/hour by 2019 in New York City and mid-2021 in the rest of the state would give a much-needed raise to 1.1 million immigrant workers.

In all, there are 3.2 million New York workers who will benefit from the phased-in wage increase, which would on average increase wages by $4,900 per year. These … (read more)

The Retail Sector—New York’s Biggest Low-wage Employer Needs to Provide Higher Wages

March 22, 2016. Among all sectors, retail trade has the most low-wage workers in New York State. Over a half million (555,200) retail workers will benefit from an increase in the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour. These workers make up nearly a fifth (18 percent) of the 3.2 million workers receiving a wage boost, although retail jobs represent one in nine of all New York jobs.

With the phased-in $15 minimum wage floor, 61 percent of all women … (read more)

Proposed EITC Expansion Is No Substitute for Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

March 18, 2016. The state’s EITC is an extremely important benefit to low- and moderate-income working families. There is considerable merit to Assemblyman Kolb’s proposed 50% enhancement to the state’s EITC, raising it form 30% to 45% of the federal EITC. However, the proposal is certainly not a substitute for raising the minimum wage. It is more appropriate to view the EITC and raising the minimum wage as complementary policies. See the complete brief issued jointly by the Fiscal Policy … (read more)

New York Economists Support a Statewide $15 Minimum Wage; Recent academic research shows it’s good for workers, businesses and the economy

March 14, 2016. More than 75 economists from throughout New York State joined together this week to send a message to Albany: a phased-in increase in the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state is a prudent and much needed policy that would raise the incomes of struggling low-wage workers and boost their spending power without hurting the state’s economy.

The economists’ statement cites a number of academic … (read more)

Berkeley Report on Impact of $15 NY Minimum Wage Released

March 11, 2016. In a new report from the University of California at Berkeley, noted economist Michael Reich and colleagues take a comprehensive look at the likely impact of a $15 minimum wage in New York State.

This report assesses the broad impact on businesses and the overall economy and employment levels from the proposed phased-in $15 minimum wage. The report makes a significant contribution to the minimum wage literature since it  looks broadly across the economy and factors in … (read more)

Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the FY 2017 Executive Budget – Workforce Development

February 3, 2016. James Parrott testified at a New York State Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees hearing on workforce development about the impace of a $15 an hour minimum wage.… (read more)

New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook FY 2017

February 3, 2016. In its 26th annual New York State budget briefing book, the Fiscal Policy Institute analyzes and comments on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s FY 2017 Executive Budget.

The Executive Budget advances some bold and progressive proposals that well reflect the values and needs of New Yorkers. In particular, the governor has shown great leadership and vision in forcefully advocating for a first-in-the nation statewide $15 minimum wage. If enacted, the minimum wage increase would lift the incomes of … (read more)

Testimony: Overall Impact of a $15 State Minimum Wage

January 7, 2016. James Parrott testified at a New York State Senate Standing Committee on Labor hearing. In his conclusion, Parrott asserts that it would be sound public policy for New York State to phase in a $15 an hour minimum wage. Considerable economically sound research supports the conclusion that the businesses can accommodate such an increase. A higher wage floor would generate significant cost savings due to reduced turnover and there is room for modest price increases to ease … (read more)