ALBANY, N.Y. - Building upon growing momentum in support of a minimum wage increase, the Independent Democratic Conference today released a new economic report underscoring the importance of raising the minimum wage to New York’s female and minority workforce. According to the report, New York’s low-wage women and minority workers will experience an increase in earnings by over one billion dollarsif the minimum wage is increased to $8.50 or $8.75. This cross-section of low-wage workers is critical to New York’s economy since, as the report illustrates, women and minority workers make up a disproportionate number of New York’s minimum wage workers.
New York’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, which equals the federal minimum wage. The neighboring states of Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts all have higher minimum wages than New York currently. A person working 40 hours a week for 52 straight weeks would earn $15,080 a year, and many workers making the minimum wage aren’t scheduled to work that many hours in a week or work that many weeks, meaning that they likely make less than $15,000 a year. Given the high cost of living, especially in New York City and surrounding counties, making just $15,000 a year, even for a single person without dependents, means having barely enough to provide basic needs or afford one’s rent.