Minimum wage and living wage

Testimony on Increasing the Minimum Wage in the Fast-Food Industry

June 5, 2015. James Parrott presented testimony to the New York State Department of Labor Wage Board hearing on increasing the minimum wage in the fast-food industry.

Fast-food is a highly profitable and fast-growing industry. Fast-food employment has risen across New York, adding significantly to the growing problem of low-wages that are far from adequate in allowing a worker to meet basic family budget needs. A significant portion of fast-food workers are trying to raise families, but more than… (read more)

Real Living Wage NYC Educational Breakfast Forum

April 23, 2015, Manhattan. James Parrott delivered this presentation at the Community Church of New York for the Real Living Wage NYC Educational Forum, a gathering of New York City faith leaders committed to a “faith-based movement for racial and economic justice.

Parrott uses the 2014 NYC Self-Sufficiency Standard as a basis for identifying a “real living wage” level for New York City.

New York City’s Recovery Finally Starts Generating Wage Gains

April 13, 2015. In this report, FPI’s analysis shows that New York City’s recovery is finally starting to generate wage gains.

After years of wage and family income declines since the 2008-09 recession, several signs are emerging of real wage growth in New York City. The three major current government economic data sets all point to fairly widespread and firmly-established wage growth beginning in 2014.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) average private hourly earnings data show

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Budget Savings from a Minimum Wage Increase

March 27, 2015. As negotiations over New York State’s budget draw to a close, Governor Cuomo and the legislature are trying to hammer out an agreement to raise the state’s minimum wage, which is currently just $8.75 and is currently scheduled to top out at $9.00 at the end of this year. Both Governor Cuomo and the Assembly have proposed measures to raise New York State’s minimum wage, including a higher minimum wage level for New York City in the… (read more)

Wage Standards are Key to Reversing the Erosion of Wages and Living Standards in New York City

December 16, 2014. Despite considerable growth in the New York City economy over the past two decades, very little of that growth has trickled down to the average worker and his or her family, according to our new report. Wage standards like the minimum wage and the living wage are critical in ensuring that there is a floor under the job market and that workers are adequately paid. Prevailing wage standards, however, are a key means to ensure that… (read more)

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)