Business owners concerned about scheduled minimum wage increase
Morgan McKay is reporting for State of Politics the minimum wage rate for workers in upstate New York is again set to increase at the end of the year. In making the decision, state labor department officials said they wanted to help workers who have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, but small businesses are worried about the impact it will have on them. The state has been incrementally raising the minimum wage for the past four years, in a phased planned approach. Ken Pokalsky, with the Business Council of New York State, says businesses now desperately need help and this is not the time to be piling on extra costs. For Westchester and Long Island, the minimum wage will increase to $14.00, up from $13.00. New York City will stay at $15.00. For the rest of the state, the minimum wage will increase to $12.50, up from $11.80. Pokalsky says the increase will cost businesses around $1,400 per employee, annually. Assemblymember Pat Fahy argues the workers have also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; many have seen their hours cut and have been working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Fahy said that she understands that businesses need assistance from both the state and federal government in order to survive the next few months, but disagrees that this is the area to cut. Immediately before the pandemic started, New York achieved record low unemployment at 3.7 percent following four years of increases to the minimum wage. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.