New York has a long history of maintaining a state minimum wage higher than that provided for at the federal level under the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, New York State minimum wage has remained harmonized with federal law at $7.25/hour since July 24, 2009 (though New York’s “tip credit” minimum wage for the hospitality industry of $5.00 is substantially higher than that required under federal law). Now, following a long period of inactivity, the New York State legislature is considering a proposal to raise the state minimum wage to $8.50. Now, partisan legislators have looked to economists to bolster support for their respective positions as to whether such a hike hinders or bolsters the state economy. Recently, Democrats cited to the opinion of one third-party economist that “Raising the incomes of low-wage workers will help businesses with their own sales,” through a “multiplier effect.”
Watch this space for further developments.