Wednesday July 22, New York moved to raise its minimum wage for fast-food chain restaurants employees to $15 per hour by the end of 2018 for New York City, and state-wide by 2021. This is more than 70 percent earning raise. Previously minimum wage employees earned $8.75, in addition to fast-food chain employees Mayor DeBlasio has proposed the $15 minimum wage for all industries in New York City.
New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. According to the New York Times it’s the fourth most expensive city in the world, with London following in third and Los Angels residing as the tenth. Surviving off of $8.75/hr in New York city is nearly impossible.
The NYT explains “The board said the first wage increase should come by Dec. 31, taking the minimum in the city to $10.50 and in the rest of the state to $9.75. The wage in the city would then rise in increments of $1.50 annually for the next three years, until it reaches $15 at the end of 2018. In the rest of the state, the hourly wage would rise each year, reaching $15 on July 1, 2021.”
The city targeting this raise at big name fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King, but they’re forgetting about the smaller fast food restaurants that end up operating like mom & pop shops. The city classifies any fast food restaurant as an eating establishment that you pay for your food before eating and that you can take to-go.
This will raise the competition for jobs; as a result retailers will have to raise their wages to compete for employees. This change in wage ends up having a waterfall effect on the rest of the city. Big corporations like McDonalds and Burger King’s prices might be able to hold out and stay the same, but these other fast food establishments are going to have to raise their prices.
New York City is just one 13 cities that have made the move to raise minimum wage, including; Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Santa Fe, Albuqurque, Kansas City (MO), Chicago, Louisville, Washington D.C., and Portland (ME). (National Employment Law Project) This wages range from $8.75-$15. People are saying that this wage increase is the first wage in decades that is able to be lived off of.
As a result of the minimum wage increase will other minimal costs increase? Is this a benefit or will we experience a trickle down? Will inflation increase? There are a lot of unanswered questions that are left for business owners who are already struggling to pay their employees.