Comptroller: Minimum Wage Hikes Would Benefit 1.2 Million New Yorkers

By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times

Raising the city’s minimum wage to $13.13 would allow 1.2 million New Yorkers to earn an extra $100/week, according to an analysis by city comptroller Scott Stringer.

New York City’s minimum wage is the lowest in the country when adjusted for cost of living, according to the report. It’s currently $8.00/hour, set to rise to $8.75/hour in 2015, and $9.00/hour in 2016 by state law.

“New York City deserves the ability to set its own minimum wage,” Stringer stated. “We are falling behind other states and cities when it comes to the minimum wage, despite the fact that this is the most expensive city in which to live in the nation.” 

Seattle recently raised its minimum wage to $15/hour, the highest in the country. Several cities in California have set their above $10/hour, Washington DC recently voted to raise theirs to $11.50 by 2016, and Massachusetts voted to raise it to $11 by 2017.

The Bill de Blasio administration has been pushing to allow the city to set its own minimum wage, to possibly as high as $15/hour. But Governor Andrew Cuomo has previously said letting municipalities set their own minimum wages would be chaotic. Earlier this month, Cuomo relented and said he would support the Working Families Party’s call for higher minimum wages in cities with high costs of live, like New York City.

There is currently legislation at the state level which would raise the minimum wage in the state to $10.10/hour by the end of 2015 and allow municipalities to set their minimum wages to 30 percent higher than that—to $13.13. According to Stringer’s report, the cost of living in New York City is 2.4 times that of Buffalo.

“There is no one size fits all when it comes to the minimum wage; raising it to $13.13 would make an enormous difference for more than one million New York City residents,” Stringer stated.

Benefits by Borough:

Bronx: 2200,000 workers
Brooklyn: 376,000 workers
Manhattan: 194,000 workers
Queens: 348,000 workers
Staten Island: 31,000 workers