New York Mulls Minimum Wage Increase

The New York Assembly is considering a bill that would increase the minimum wage in the state from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Since 2008, the number of people earning minimum wage in New York has jumped from 6,000 to 91,000 (yes, seriously), while the number of people earning below-minimum wage remained about steady at 100,000. The rise can partially be attributed to the number of workers who were making $7.25 an hour before the most recent increase, in 2009, and did not receive a raise once the floor was increased to match their current pay.

Also, the state has lost many high-paying jobs such as those in construction and manufacturing, while the number of workers allowed to earn less than minimum wage, like waiters, increased 14 percent.

In 2011 in New Jersey, less than 50,000 people earned minimum wage, and in Connecticut, almost every worker earned more than minimum.

The business community and state Republicans both say that the increase would put the state at a disadvantage compared to New Jersey and Connecticut, which pay $7.25 and $8.25, respectively.