Minimum wage and living wage

Minimum wage hike would boost workers left behind by the economic expansion

February 7, 2001. Minimum wage hike would boost workers left behind by the economic expansion. The current proposal to increase the Federal minimum wage by $1.50 in 3 steps between now and 2003 would directly benefit more than 520,000 New York workers. Press release >>(read more)

Testimony before the Rockland County Legislature’s Public Hearing on Proposed Living Wage Law

September 5, 2000. FPI’s Zofia Nowakowski testified:

Good evening.

My name is Zofia Nowakowski and I am a research analyst from the Fiscal Policy Institute. We are a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that undertakes research and education on tax, budget, and economic issues affecting low and middle-income New Yorkers. We have two offices, one in Albany under the direction of our Executive Director Frank Mauro, who was previously secretary of the Ways and Means Committee of the New York State Assembly. … (read more)

Government Subsidies, Living Wages and the Building Service Industry

July 25, 2000. Testimony by James A. Parrott before the City Council of the City of New York Labor Committee Hearing.

My name is James Parrott. Thank you for this opportunity to testify on the question of wages and working conditions in companies that receive economic development subsidies from the City. I am the Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI). FPI is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization that deals with New York City … (read more)

Family Self Sufficiency Standard: Steering Committee

Informational Meetings on: The Self-Sufficiency Standard for New York

How much do New Yorkers need to earn to meet all their basic needs? How can subsidies help?

The Self-Sufficiency Standard for New York is the thirteenth state in a series of such standards, developed by Dr. Diana Pearce. The Self-Sufficiency Standard shows how much is enough for families to meet their basic needs. It covers costs for housing, child care, food, transportation, medical care, miscellaneous expenses, and taxes. It also … (read more)

New York’s Minimum Wage Opportunity

June 24, 2000. The New York State Senate recessed on  June 23rd without acting on the proposal to increase the minimum wage to $6.75 per hour on January 1, 2001.  This legislation is sponsored by 16 of the 36 members of the  Senate’s Republican Majority Conference.  Whether the Senate reconvenes before or after Election Day, this is an issue that it will not be able to ignore.  Tom Michl and Trudi Renwick review the erosion of the purchasing power of … (read more)

State lawmakers should boost minimum wage

June 22, 2000. A letter to the editor by Trudi Renwick and Tom Michl. Published in the Albany Times Union.

On Monday the Times Union reported the effort to increase the state minimum wage to $6.75 per hour “apparently died in the Senate.” The Senate has returned to Albany this week and should make sure this opportunity to give low-income working New Yorkers a much-needed raise doesn’t really die. In fact, the purchasing power (in current dollars) of the … (read more)

Boost the Minimum Wage? Yes, to raise living standards

October 27, 1999. An op ed by James A. Parrott, Daily News.(read more)

Minimum Wage Fact Sheet

October 1999. In a nutshell:

The Minimum Wage and New Yorkers’ Hourly Wages Have Declined.

  • Despite sizable growth in the productivity of our nation’s economy over the last 30 years, the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage has fallen by one-third. · The value of the minimum wage has dropped to less than 40 percent of average hourly earnings, down from over 50 percent in the 1960s.
  • In the 1960s and 1970s, the earnings of a full-time, year-round worker
(read more)

Why the Federal and State Governments Should Both Increase and Index Their Minimum Wages

September 1999.  By Frank J. Mauro.

The first minimum wage at the federal level was signed into law in 1938, after several states including New York had enacted their own minimum wage laws. The U. S. Supreme Court had first invalidated such state laws as violating the liberty of contract and then upheld them as a proper exercise of the states’ power to protect the public health, safety and welfare. From the very beginning, such laws protected responsible employers from … (read more)

Working but Poor in New York

March 8, 1999. This report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (revised in July 1999) outlines why and how to improve the economic situation of a hard-working but ignored population. Report below; also see press release.

Working but Poor in New York

Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Working but Poor in New York
    1. Many New Yorkers Work but Remain Poor
    2. New York’s Poverty Rate Has Remained High While the National Rate Has Dropped Steadily
    3. Most Poor Families Include a
(read more)