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2013 Min Wage

2013 Min Wage

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Published by Nick Reisman

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Published by: Nick Reisman on Feb 26, 2013
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Minimm Wa Ina: Now I th Tim
IN 1960, the New York State Legislature enacted the Minimum Wage Act to institute a statestatutory minimum wage law
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and established that employment o New Yorkers at insucientrates o pay threatens their health and well-being and injures the overall economy. At its inception,the statutory minimum wage in New York State matched the $1.00 per hour standard providedor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enacted by Congress in 1938, to ensure thatworkers were compensated or their labor with a wage that aorded them a basic standard o livingsucient to protect their health and saety. In keeping with this basic principle o adequate wages,it has been widely acknowledged and statistically proven that periodic increases to the minimumwage have not been sucient to protect against the erosive nature o infation. On severaloccasions since it was rst established, the New York State Assembly has championed proposalsto increase the state’s minimum wage above the ederal level resulting in New York having ahigher standard rom 1967-68
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, 1970-74
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, and 2005-07.
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Once again, in 2013, the New York StateAssembly recognized
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that the well-being o low-wage workers and their amilies were at risk.
Speaker Sheldon Silver
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1960, c.619 (New York had previously adopted minimum wage standards through a wage board procedure. See L.1933, c.584, L.1937, c.276, L.1944, c.705, L.1944, c.792. Thelegislation adopted in 1960 set a statutory minimum wage.
2
See L. 1966, c.649
3
See L. 1970, c.282
4
See L. 2004, c.747
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New York State Assembly, 2013. A.38-A http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A09148&term=2011
An Intodtion
It’s time to raise New York’s minimum wage. This report details why it needs to be increased andhow such an increase will improve our economy. By reading deeper into this issue, you will seehow increasing the minimum wage is good or working amilies and good or our local businesses.This report details the Assembly Majority’s belie that no ull-time worker should live in poverty.At $7.25 an hour, a ull-time minimum wage earner makes just over $15,000 a year. Nobody canraise a amily on that. It is so low, most amilies dependent on minimum wage salaries are eligibleor subsidies and public assistance programs. By providing low-wage workers with a little extramoney, we will immediately boost consumer spending and help local businesses grow. And withthe corporate prots o low-wage employers experiencing record growth, now is the right timeto raise the minimum wage. Please visit the Assembly Majority’s Raise the Wage NY website athttp://assembly.state.ny.us/raisethewageny/.
 
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MINIMuM WAge INcreAse: NW Is Te TIMe
The most recent increase to the New York statute occurred in 2004when the law was amended to provide or a graduated increaserom $6.00 to $7.15 per hour over the course o three years. In2009, one year ater the last o the scheduled increases went intoeect, the ederal minimum wage increased to $7.25 per hour whichtriggered an automatic increase or New York workers, as the highero the two values prevails.Since then, the minimum wage in New York State has remainedstagnant at $7.25 per hour. At this rate, a ull-time worker in 2013 isearning just over $15,000 per year. This salary is so low, that mostull-time workers supporting a amily on the minimum wage areeligible or Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP), the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), child caresubsidies and other taxpayer-unded public assistance programs.In 2012, more than 70 percent o New Yorkers polled respondedthat they were supportive o eorts to raise the minimum wage.
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 The Assembly Majority introduced and passed legislation (A.9148)that would have raised the statutory minimum wage rom $7.25 to$8.50 per hour and also raised the minimum cash wage or oodservice workers who receive tips rom $5.00 to $5.86 per hour. Themeasure required both wages to be indexed or infation to preventurther erosion o New York minimum wage earners’ purchasingpower. For the 2013 session, with over 80 percent o New Yorkerssupporting an increase,
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the Assembly Majority reintroduced theminimum wage proposal and amended it to call or a wage fooro $9.00 an hour and raise the minimum cash wage to $6.21 anhour, while maintaining the indexing provisions. This amendedproposal would directly benet the more than 925,000 workers whoare currently earning below $9.00 an hour and also have prooundbenets or local and state economies. The reality o the economicclimate in this state is that the current minimum wage is insucientto provide ood and shelter let alone access to health care orretirement security.
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Siena College Research Institute, August 21, 2012
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Quinnipac University Polling Institute. January 31, 2013.
“a fll-tim wok in2013 i anin jt ov$15,000 p ya. Thialay i o low, thatmot fll-tim wokppotin a family onth minimm wa aliibl fo Mdiaid,spplmntal NtitionAitan Poam(sNAP), th omeny AitanPoam (eAP), hilda bidi and othtaxpay-fndd pbliaitan poam.”
 
3
MINIMuM WAge INcreAse: NW Is Te TIMe
It is oten said by those who oppose increases to the minimumwage that most low-wage earners are teenagers or unskilledworkers who do not have the work experience that would enablethem to bargain or a higher wage. The abundance o data that hasbeen collected on the minimum wage and its aected populationshow that these assertions are alse.Currently, in New York State, there are approximately 925,700workers earning less than $9.00 per hour, which accounts or justover ten percent o the state’s employed population.
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The mostsignicant evidence against the assumption that most low wageearners are either teenagers or unskilled is the act that according torecently published data, 84 percent o those that would be directlyaected by an increase in the state’s minimum wage are adults; andurther still, 87 percent o those aected work more than 20 hoursper week.
9
Nationally, women, Arican-Americans and Hispanicsare disproportionately represented among low-wage earners, withwomen representing about two-thirds o the minimum wage earningpopulation and sixty-one percent o the ull-time minimum wageearners.
10
 Opponents o increasing the minimum wage have also argued thatthis proposal would have crippling eects on the business climateand lead to higher rates o unemployment in New York State.Traditionally, the basis or this position has been the theory thatincreased wage costs will reduce demand or labor and thereore,result in disemployment. This argument represents an oversimpliedview o a complex economic relationship and also ails to takeinto account the myriad o actors involved in the determination ounemployment rates. It assumes that all businesses and employers,regardless o size or sector, experience the same reaction toeconomic conditions. Over the years, labor market research andacademic studies have consistently concluded that there is nodiscernible correlation between minimum wage increases and job loss or business ailures.
11
In act, Chart 1
 
shows that ater thelargest increase in the minimum wage in the past decade – 0.85cents in January 2005 – the unemployment rate went down; andit went down again ater the next increase. It is widely acceptedthat other trends, among them: limited sector job availability whichtargets specialized skills; changes to the labor orce causedby worker choices relating to educational pursuits, retirement,
“aodin to ntlypblihd data, 84pnt of tho thatwold b ditlyafftd by an inain th tat’ minimmwa a adlt; andfth till, 87 pntof tho afftdwok mo than 20ho p wk.
9
 Nationally, womn,Afian-Amianand ipani adipopotionatlypntd amonlow-wa an, withwomn pntinabot two-thid ofth minimm waanin poplation andixty-on pnt of thfll-tim minimm waan.
10
“aft th lat inain th minimm wa inth pat dad – 0.85nt in Janay 2005 –th nmploymnt atwnt down”
8
Fiscal Policy Institute. “Which workers will benet, i the New York minimum wage is raised to $8.50 an hour?” February 2012, available at http://scalpolicy.org/wp-content/ uploads/2012/04/FPI_NumbersThatCount_BenetsOIncreasingTheMinimumWage.pd
9
Fiscal Policy Institute and National Employment Law Project. “Raising New York’s Minimum Wage: The Economic Benets and Demographic Impact o Increasing New York’sMinimum Wage to $8.75 per Hour.” January 2013, available at http://scalpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Raising-New_york-Min-Wage-FPI-NELP.pd
10
Bureau o Labor Statistics, Characteristics o Minimum Wage Workers, 2011, available at http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2011tbls.htm#1
11
Jared Berstein, Economic Policy Institute, “Minimum Wage and its Eect on Small Business” 2004, available at http://www.epi.org/publication/webeatures_viewpoints_raising_minimum_wage_2004/ (citing Jerold Waltman, Allan McBridge, and Nicole Camhout, “Minimum Wage Increases and the Business Failure Rate,” Journal o Economic Issues,Vol. XXXII, No. 1, March 1998)

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