Minimum wage and living wage

Hundreds of thousands of low-income families would benefit from a New York minimum wage increase

July 17, 2014. David Neumark’s piece in the July 6 Wall Street Journal (“Who Really Gets the Minimum Wage?”) argues that because some low-wage earners are in high-income families, increasing the minimum wage isn’t a very effective way to reduce poverty. In particular, he cites research to the effect that “if we were to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 nationally, 18% of the benefits of the higher wages (holding employment fixed) would go to poor families [but] 29% would… (read more)

Over one-third of New York City employees are paid less than $14 an hour; workers of color are twice as likely to be low-wage

June 17, 2014. The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) released a new data brief today showing the sector of employment and race/ethnicity for New York City workers paid less than $14 an hour. On an annual basis, $14 an hour would put a family $1,900 below the $31,039 poverty threshold for a New York City family.

Altogether, 1.2 million New York City workers are paid less than $14 an hour, 36 percent of all public and private wage and salary… (read more)

Testimony to Raise the Statewide Minimum Wage and Allow Localities to Set a Higher Minimum Wage

June 2, 2014. FPI’s James Parrott submitted testimony for the June 2 New York State Senate Labor Committee hearing on several minimum wage-related bills, including five bills that would authorize local governments to enact minimum wages above the statewide level, and one bill that would establish a statewide “living wage” of $15 an hour, indexed to inflation, for certain large employers and chain stores. The FPI testimony reviewed several reasons why it makes sense for New York State to… (read more)

Testimony on Local Government Minimum Wage Authority

April 30, 2014. In testimony presented before the New York City Council, FPI’s James Parrott reviewed several reasons why it makes sense for New York State to authorize cities and counties to establish higher minimum wage levels than the statewide minimum. Parrott’s testimony cited data showing that there are wide disparities across counties within the state in terms of the local cost of living, and that there is a similar wide disparity in median… (read more)

Testimony Presented to the New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor

February 27, 2014. In testimony presented before the New York City Council Civil Service and Labor Committee, FPI’s James Parrott summarized several employment, wage and cost of living trends affecting low-wage workers in New York City. He noted that 37 percent of all wage-earners in the city are paid less than $15 an hour, and that half of all black and Latino workers are low-wage by this measure. Parrott discussed several groups of low-wage workers and suggested policy steps… (read more)

Why New York State Should Let Cities and Counties Enact Higher Local Minimum Wages

February 14, 2014. While New York’s economy is gradually recovering, far too many workers still earn very low wages. Pay for the typical New Yorker has not kept up with inflation, and the majority of new jobs being created in New York and nationally are in low paying fields. As communities in New York struggle with these serious economic challenges, other states have empowered localities to respond by adopting higher local minimum wages. From California to Maryland, growing numbers of… (read more)

The Taxpayer Costs of Low-Wage Fast Food Jobs in New York State

October 16, 2013. Fast food jobs are by far the biggest source of job growth in New York State and New York City in this recovery and over the past decade. But, with a median hourly pay of only $8.90 an hour in NYC, this growth in fast food jobs is one of the reasons that poverty has risen sharply during the recovery.

NYC has a record number of working poor—one out of every 10 workers in NYC works,… (read more)

Walmart and other large, low-wage employers will benefit financially from New York’s new Minimum Wage Reimbursement Credit.

April 5, 2013. Unless disclosure requirements are clarified, we’ll probably never know exactly how much Walmart and other large, low-wage employers receive in government subsidies under New York’s new Minimum Wage Reimbursement Credit (MWRC). But based on the best data available, we estimate that Walmart is likely to receive MWRC subsidies of between $53 million and $85 million over the next five years.

New York’s new MWRC will provide employers a tax credit for the hours worked by students between… (read more)

The Many Problems with New York’s Proposed Minimum Wage Reimbursement Credit

March 25, 2013. This was to have been the year New York caught up with the 19 other states and the District of Columbia with a minimum wage above the $7.25 an hour federal level. Minimum wage legislation that passed the Assembly also would have indexed the minimum wage in future years—as 10 other states do—so that inflation would not steadily erode its purchasing power. However, the agreement reached over the weekend in Albany falls far short. It increases the… (read more)

$9 with indexing adds hundreds of millions of dollars more in consumer spending and more jobs

March 13, 2013. A report by the National Employment Law Project and the Fiscal Policy Institute shows the dangers of watering down the $9.00 plus indexing minimum wage proposal, which has the backing of most New Yorkers and majorities in both the Senate and the Assembly.  The report details the greater benefits for workers and the state economy from an increase to $9.00 an hour with indexing compared to the proposal for an $8.75 an hour increase without indexing:… (read more)