Raising Minimum Wage Expected to Create 4,800 New Job

    NEW YORK, NY-- New York State will see an infusion of $600 million in
    economic activity and a net creation of 4,800 new jobs if the state's
    minimum wage is raised to $8.50 an hour, according to a new report
    unveiled Sunday by Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/ Westchester).

    The analysis, prepared with the help of the Economic Policy Institute,
    a Washington D.C. based non-partisan think tank, found that much like
    eight other states that recently raised their minimum wage, New York
    is primed to experience an economic boost from such an increase.

    “This report shows that money in the pockets of minimum wage earners
    ultimately means a greater demand for additional jobs,” said Senator
    Klein. “Raising the minimum wage is not only the right thing to do for
    the thousands of New Yorkers who are struggling to make ends meet
    every week, it also benefits New York State as a whole.”

    The increase to $8.50 an hour will boost the wages of affected workers
    by roughly $950 million --  $600 million of which will be almost
    immediately spent on goods and services. This economic activity is
    expected to result in the creation of an estimated 5,200 new full time
    jobs, adding approximately 4,800 new workers to payrolls across New

    Klein currently sponsors legislation (S.6413/ A.9148) with Assemblyman
    Keith Wright (D-Manhattan) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
    (D-Manhattan) to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour and peg New
    York's minimum wage to the rate of inflation in future years.

    Senator Klein and Assemblyman Wright released the report with the
    support of Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), the
    Working Families Party, and others.

    “Retail is one of the fastest-growing low-wage sectors of our economy.
    It’s where the positive impact of a higher minimum wage in New York
    will be seen and felt quite dramatically," said Stuart Appelbaum,
    President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU),
    UFCW. "Too many retail workers are barely surviving today. But if they
    earn more through a minimum wage increase, they will spend the
    additional income quickly on basic necessities, which will boost
    businesses and help create new jobs. Raising the minimum wage is
    really a win-win for everyone. That's why the idea is so popular."

    The report also highlights that while New York's minimum wage has
    remained stagnant, increased costs for housing, food and utilities
    have resulted in decreased buying power for minimum wage earners.

    During nearly every year from 1960-1980, New York maintained a minimum
    wage average of 108% of the three-person federal poverty level. This
    stands in stark contrast to today, where declining purchasing power
    has forced the statewide minimum wage to drop to below 82% of the
    poverty level.

    Since 2004, staple food items - like milk, bread and cheese - have
    experienced double digit price increases.

    Since 2007:

    Home heating oil costs have increased 45%
    Gas has increased 43%
    Rent has increased 10 % in the New York City Metro Area.

    "The time has come to promote fairness and dignity for thousands of
    hard working New Yorkers," said Senator David  Carlucci, (D-Rockland/
    Orange). "These folks deserve a break, and even more so, deserve to
    know that they can afford to make ends meet. Passing an increase in
    the minimum wage will provide this much needed safety net and build a
    stronger economy."

    “We are a state where we allow people to work, but not make enough to
    survive,” said Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island/ Brooklyn.) “As
    this report shows, by raising the floor of prosperity, we will also be
    raising the ceiling.”

    "Low wages in New York mean bigger paychecks for CEOs and bigger
    profits for giant corporations but they're bad for New York" said
    Andres Kwon, minimum wage campaign director at the Working Families
    Party. "Poverty wages are holding back our economic recovery. New York
    needs a raise."