Russell Sykes, a senior fellow at the Empire Center for New York State Policy, said raising the minimum wage would not be as helpful to poor families as the earned income tax credit. For a single mother who earns the minimum wage and has two children, for instance, the state and federal credits would increase her annual income to more than $21,000 a year, or the equivalent of about $10.50 an hour, Mr. Sykes said. But that family would stand to become ineligible for the credits under a minimum wage increase.