Governor Cuomo Proposes ‘All Industry’ Minimum Wage of $15

Unknown-1This past summer, legislation passed that restaurant chains in New York would need to implement yearly increases for minimum wages until 2018 for NYC and 2021 for the rest of the state to incur a $15/hr wage. However, Governor Cuomo has announced his intentions for all industries to increase minimum wages in New York State. “You cannot support a family on $18,000/ year in New York State, not to mention have a decent living,” Cuomo said. The New York State minimum right now is $8.75 and will rise to $9.00 in January, which is an annual salary of about $18,720 assuming 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. However, a $15 wage would raise yearly salaries to about $31,000.

Cuomo’s intentions to drive salaries in all industries will potentially effect the hospitality industry the most. The hospitality industry occupies some of the lowest paying jobs in the economy. Many of the employees in the hospitality industry conduct a tip based wage, where the minimum is $5.00. An average server in the greater New York Metropolitan area makes $13.21 per hour after tips, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. In New York State, servers make an average of $12.16. NYC cooks make about $13.41 and dishwashers make about $9.66.

The tipped minimum wage will be increasing to $7.50 in January. However, for Cuomo to increase minimum wages for all workers in all industries to be $15, he will need legislative approval.

Many businesses have opposed the raise in minimum wages as it increases labor costs, and can potentially cut back on hourly staffing and reduce hiring. However, those that support “Fight for Fifteen” disagree with examples from San Francisco and Seattle, as the rising minimums in those cities did not prompt to a significant layoff or closure of hospitality industries. Moreover, believe that these measures will increase employee retention, decrease worker reliance on taxpayer subsidized public assistance programs like food stamps and stimulate consumer spending throughout the economy.

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