Albany, N.Y. – Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour could cost the state nearly 200,000 jobs, a new report by The Empire Center argues. Researchers also said that number could be on the conservative end.
This comes amid Governor Cuomo’s push to increase the minimum wage across the state. He points out New York has increased the minimum wage seven times since 1991. In six out of seven of those cases, employment has gone up.
Yet The Empire Center says a $15 per hour wage is a 67 percent increase, and more than double the federal minimum wage. It says the increase would cost at least 200,000 jobs, with the largest losses upstate. On the low end, the center argues the Finger Lakes region would lose 13,600 jobs.
It said most of those impacted will be the very-low-income earners who the increase is set up to help.
Half of minimum wage employees who work 40 hours a week need public assistance to make ends meet. Governor Cuomo said that adds up to more than $9,000 per person, per year. That is taxpayer money.
The report predicts that, on the high end, New York could lose half a million jobs. Some critics take issue with the formulas used to calculate the job losses, though many admit fewer low-level jobs will be created under a higher minimum wage.