NEW YORK –
The poorest paid workers in New York State receive an increase with a higher minimum wage just before the New Year. The biggest boost comes to New York City employees earning at least $ 15 an hour.
For workers struggling in this expensive city, this is a reason to celebrate getting extra money for the daily fight to make ends meet, even if rents and other costs continue to rise. For some entrepreneurs, it is a burden to find out how to handle higher labor costs.
In New York City, the hourly rate of $ 15 starts on the last day of 2018 and applies to fast-food workers and employees of companies with 11 or more people; These companies currently have to pay a minimum wage of $ 1
This includes people like 70-year-old Jose Amador, a full-time employee at a grocery store in Brooklyn.
As is the case now, he has to stretch hard to support his business family – he has four children aged 3 to 15 – the $ 2,500 he brings home every month. Almost half is eaten by the rent. The rest hardly covers utilities, food and transportation.
In a city where a 30-day subway pass alone costs $ 121, even $ 2 per hour can "make a difference," he said in Spanish, speaking through a translator.
"I'll be able to breathe more air," he said, perhaps even saving some money for emergencies.
When his children ask him something, the answer may not be, "I can not afford it," he said.
But for business owner Sam Lam, that means more concern. This is the sixth time that the minimum wage in New York has risen to $ 7.25 since 2013.
The owner of two Queens Laundromats has balanced his budget by reducing the overtime of the workers and cutting down on small benefits such as business dinners and holiday pay and raising prices. With fewer than eleven workers in each independent company, his minimum pay wage will increase from $ 12 to $ 13.50 in 2019, before reaching $ 15 in 2020.
"I'm in a very stressful situation," said Lam 54, who also works as a hairdresser. Workers in New York's Long Island suburbs will raise their minimum income from $ 11 to $ 12 on New Year's Eve before rising to $ 15 in 2021. The minimum wage rose by 70 cents to $ 11.10, with further increases over for several years.
The experience of Seattle, where some businesses had to pay $ 15 an hour from 2017, and San Francisco, where it rose to $ 15. All this is a must for all workers on July 1st. It will not be a magic bullet that puts low paid workers in a safe position, nor a stake in the heart of the business, said Jacob Vigdor, a professor at the University of Washington, who has studied the implications of wage increases.
"The General The feeling is that the fears that a higher minimum wage for the company might have arisen have been exaggerated," he said. "I think it's also fair to say that the hopes that a minimum wage for the workers could be achieved were also exaggerated."
Workers who already had a minimum wage saw a significant increase in wages. However, the number of new employees who entered the low-pay market had declined, meaning that companies were adjusting, for example by employing fewer shiftworkers or adjusting working hours.
Researchers investigating a group of low-paid workers said they were working Vigdor did not report that he felt more economically, Vigdor said.
"As much as they deserved, their expenses rose as fast, if not faster," he said.
State Officials Estimated More Than 900,000 People would earn the full $ 15 hourly wage if they were fully introduced to New York City.
Samantha Marturana, co-owner of the Buttermilk Bakeshop in Brooklyn, said that if the lowest salary of their workers receives a raise to $ 15, it is the case will have a ripple effect. Employees who are already paid more because of seniority or special skills are looking forward to an increase.
She and her co-owner could avoid the salary increase for a year by dismissing an employee, but they do not prefer it, she said. Instead, the company could try to expand or increase its product offering to increase sales.
56-year-old Flavia Cabral is also planning. As a part-time fast-food worker, she's looking forward to buying toys for her grandson, maybe having a little more to buy things that were previously out of reach, like a pair of good-quality shoes, or in the To be able to give her money to her daughter for her college expenses.
"Now I've freed myself a bit from the thought of pressure," said the inhabitant of the Bronx. "I have hope."
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(Copyright © 2018, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.)