Study Shows Raising Minimum Wage Won’t Hurt State Economy

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appeal to Albany for home rule control over New York City setting its own minimum wage during his State of the City speech Monday has made significant waves, despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo all but shooting it down, by saying the proposal could cause “chaos” throughout the state.

Despite Cuomo’s ambivalence, a group of elected officials, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James will hold a rally at City Hall urging Albany to grant the mayor’s home rule request. In advance of the rally, the National Employment Law Project and the Fiscal Policy Institute are releasing a report making the case for why the state should allow all localities to set their own minimum wage. The report, titled “Why New York State Should Let Cities and Counties Enact Higher Local Minimum Wages,” looks at cities like San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington, D.C., that have raised wages at the local level, and concludes the laws helped raise standards for workers without hurting the economy.

“New York’s low-wage workforce is massive, at more than 3 million–37 percent of the overall workforce,” said James Parrott, chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute. “And in a high-cost state, with a minimum wage that has failed to keep pace with inflation, and that is far below what other states are pushing to enact, it means way too many workers are just not making enough to survive.”

To read a copy of the report, click here: Why-New-York-State-Should-Let-Cities-and-Counties-Enact-Higher-Local-Minimum-Wages

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