The lowest-paid workers in New York state will have something to look forward to in the new year: a higher minimum wage, with the biggest boost coming to employees in New York City, who will make at least $15 per hour, per the AP. For workers struggling in this expensive city, it's a cause for celebration, an extra bit of cash to help with the daily fight to make ends meet, even as rents and other costs continue to rise. For some business owners, it's a burden as they try to figure out how to cope with higher labor costs. In New York City, the $15 hourly rate kicks in on the last day of 2018 and will apply to fast-food workers and employees of businesses with 11 or more people; those businesses currently must pay a minimum wage of $13.
Workers in New York City's Long Island suburbs will see their minimum pay go from $11 to $12 on New Year's Eve before jumping to $15 in 2021. The rest of the state will see the minimum wage go up 70 cents, to $11.10, with further increases phased in over several years. If the experience of Seattle, where the minimum wage has been increased, is anything to go by, it's neither going to be a magic bullet that puts low-wage workers in a secure position, nor a stake in the heart of businesses, said Jacob Vigdor, a professor at the University of Washington. "The general sense is that the fears of what a higher minimum wage might have done to business were exaggerated," he said. "I think it's also fair to say the hopes of what a minimum wage might have done to workers were also exaggerated."
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