Co-sponsored by the Manhattan Institute.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has embraced the “fight for $15,” pledging to make New York the first state to impose a $15-an-hour minimum wage on virtually its entire private-sector workforce. How would a universal $15 minimum wage affect employment prospects for New York’s poor and unskilled?

A new Empire Center report, by Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Ben Gitis of the American Action Forum, finds that such a wage hike—a more than doubling of the statewide minimum wage since Cuomo entered office in 2011—would cost the Empire State a minimum of 200,000 jobs, disproportionately striking less affluent Upstate New York. Please join former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center, and Lee Bowes of America Works, as they discuss New York’s looming employment disaster—and how to prevent it.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum. Previously, he served as director of the Congressional Budget Office, as chief economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, and as chairman of Syracuse University’s department of economics. Holtz-Eakin holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

E.J. McMahon is president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany-based think tank, and is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Previously, he served as New York’s deputy state tax commissioner for tax-policy analysis and as minority staff director for the state Assembly Ways & Means Committee.

Lee Bowes is CEO of America Works, a position she has held since 1987. Previously, she was a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Bowes holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University.



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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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