The NY Minimum Wage — Increase or Stay the Same?

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Workers protesting McDonalds for a $15 minimum wage. (Google Common License)

Workers protesting McDonalds for a $15 minimum wage. (Google Common License)

This New Years was very special for many New Yorkers. As the ball dropped on December 31st, hard workers could enjoy their time off with ease, as earlier that day they received another increase in the minimum wage

In New York City, the minimum wage of businesses with eleven or more employees increased from $13 to $15. The minimum wage for all other workers in the state will see their $10.40-per-hour check increase to $11.10. Although many will benefit, there are many downsides to increasing the minimum wage. Will increasing the minimum wage in New York help it’s hard working citizens, or deprive small business of necessary funds to function?

Increasing the minimum wage is inevitable; because of inflation, the value of the American dollar will continue to decrease over time. Adjusting the wage is important, and it’s essential to make sure that the value of a worker’s wage doesn’t decrease over time. The increase in New York’s minimum wage is an increase in value, not just money.

Studies have shown that despite an increase in wages, which by itself is positive, there’s a drop in employment. In California, the minimum wage increased by 10% in 2008. This caused a 12% decrease in employment in restaurant businesses. In 2017, a 20% increase in the minimum wage caused a 10% decrease in employment.

In Seattle, a current increase in wages caused many to work fewer hours, ultimately reducing an employee’s salary by $125 a month. That adds up to about $1,500 a year. That’s a significant loss, but not significant enough to harm the average minimum wage worker. Fewer hours working might be ideal for someone, and even if they are earning slightly less, the flexibility might be worth the while.

Ultimately, small businesses will struggle from this increase in wages, while working citizens will benefit. Jobs will decrease, but more money in the hands of workers will stimulate the economy. Employees might see a decrease in benefits due to more money being spent on their wages, but only time will tell if these actions will have a positive effect on our country.

Works Cited

Hajela, Deepti. “New York State Minimum Wage Hike Takes Effect.” ABC7 New York, 31 Dec. 2018,
Ingraham, Christopher. “What Does a $15 Minimum Wage Do to the Economy? Economists Are Starting to Find out.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 11 Jan. 2018,

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