Report | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

Raising the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021 would lift wages for 3.2 million workers

Briefing Paper #416

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Press release

Introduction and key findings

Since the beginning of the 20th century, U.S. states have used minimum-wage laws to help ensure that regular employment provides the means to a decent quality of life. For decades following its enactment in 1938, the federal minimum wage provided this protection for workers across the United States. Yet in recent decades, the buying power of the federal minimum wage has eroded because policymakers have failed to raise it such that its value keeps pace with rising prices. As a result, a parent who works full time and is paid the federal minimum wage does not currently earn enough through work to be above the poverty line (Cooper 2015a). Faced with this inadequate federal standard, lawmakers in many states have adopted higher minimum wages to better reflect state-specific costs of living, and to help alleviate the wage inequality that has grown considerably over the past generation, in part as a result of eroding minimum wages (Mishel 2014).

In July 2015, an executive-appointed New York wage board created to make recommendations related to fast food workers’ pay recommended that the minimum wage for these workers be gradually raised to $15 per hour by 2018 in New York City and by 2021 throughout the rest of the state. In September, the acting state labor commissioner signed an order adopting the wage board’s recommendations for fast food workers. Shortly thereafter, the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, called for a legislative increase in the state minimum wage that would raise the wages of all workers in the state to at least $15 per hour. As a first step toward this goal, Gov. Cuomo announced in November his intent to raise the minimum pay of state employees to $15 an hour on a schedule similar to that of the fast food wage order.

This report analyzes the likely effects of a statewide increase in the minimum wage—in terms of the workers who would be affected and the resulting change in their pay—if the increase were implemented along a schedule similar to that of the fast food wage order. In particular, the report analyzes the affected workforce by age, gender, race and ethnicity, education levels, work hours, family status, household composition, and family income.

Key findings include:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018 in New York City and by mid-2021 throughout the rest of New York state would directly or indirectly lift wages for 3.2 million workers­­—about 37 percent of all workers in the state.
    • In New York City, the increase would raise the wages of 1.4 million workers, approximately 35 percent of the city’s workforce.
    • Outside of New York City, the increase would lift pay for 1.7 million workers, roughly 38 percent of wage earners elsewhere in the state.
  • Over the phase-in period of the increases, affected workers would receive $15.3 billion in additional wages. Once the increase to $15 is reached, the average affected worker would earn roughly $4,800 more in annual pay than she does today (assuming no change in the number of work hours).
  • The workers who would benefit from the higher minimum wage do not fit the stereotype of low-wage workers being teenagers from affluent families working part time.
    • A mere 5.2 percent of affected workers are teenagers. Nearly 95 percent are 20 years old or older, and more than three-quarters are 25 or older.
    • The majority of affected workers (52.7 percent) are women.
    • Statewide, roughly half of affected workers are persons of color. However, within New York City, more than three-quarters of affected workers are persons of color, and statewide, workers of color would benefit disproportionately from the increase. More than half of all Hispanic or Latino workers in the state would receive a raise, as would 40.5 percent of all black or African American workers.
    • Of workers who would receive a raise, two-thirds work full time, more than half (52.3 percent) have some college experience, and nearly a third (33.0 percent) have children.
    • Low-income households would benefit disproportionately from the increase. More than a third (37.1 percent) of affected workers come from families either in poverty or “near poverty,” defined as having income less than 200 percent of the poverty line. Over three-fourths of workers in or near poverty would get a raise.
    • The workers who would benefit earn, on average, half of their family’s total income. More than a quarter (27.0 percent) of affected workers are the sole providers of their family’s income.
  • Three major industries have more than 400,000 affected workers each: retail trade, restaurants, and the group of human service workers and care providers in the home-based and residential care, social assistance, and child care sectors.

Background

On September 10, 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed increasing the New York state minimum wage in several stages to $15 an hour, which would make New York the first state with a statewide $15 minimum wage. This followed a decision by a Cuomo-appointed wage board to recommend a $15 minimum wage for employees of fast food chains.

The wage board’s action was informed by testimony at hearings around the state in which scores of workers, advocates, and experts described the inadequacy of pay in the fast food industry and the damaging effects such low pay has on workers, families, and their communities. Workers described having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, sacrificing time with family, and struggling to afford rent, food, health care, and other necessities (Karlin 2015). Low pay among fast food workers also forces many of these workers to rely on public assistance programs to supplement their inadequate earnings, with 60 percent of workers in the industry using some form of means-tested government assistance (Allegretto et al. 2013).

The Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator (Gould, Cooke, and Kimball 2015) shows that in the least expensive area of New York—the Buffalo/Niagara Falls metro area—a single, childless adult working full time, year round, requires an hourly wage of at least $13.48 to achieve a modest but adequate standard of living. Using inflation projections from the New York State Budget Office, by 2021 workers in this region, and in all other areas of the state, will require an hourly wage of $15 or more to be able to afford a modest yet adequate living standard.1 In New York’s metropolitan areas, a single adult will need an hourly wage of $15.72 or more by 2021 to meet her basic needs. Parents who are raising children will need an hourly wage much greater than $15 in 2021, even if both parents are working to support one child.2 The significant gap between current minimum-wage levels and the wages required to achieve a modest yet adequate living standard reflects the extent to which lawmakers have let the minimum wage erode.

Under legislation enacted in 2013, New York’s minimum wage was raised above the current $7.25 federal minimum wage and reached $9.00 on December 31, 2015. At $9.00 an hour, the state minimum wage is still 20.3 percent below its inflation-adjusted value in 1970, when its value (in 2014 dollars) was $11.29 per hour (using national measures of inflation).3 However, adjusting for changes in nationwide prices (inflation) does not reflect the higher cost of living in New York compared with the national average.

To match the 1970 value of the minimum wage accounting both for national price changes and the higher cost of living in New York would require a New York minimum wage of $14.27 in 2016.4 Adjusting that level for projected inflation in New York, as forecast by the State Division of the Budget, would bring the state minimum wage to $15.01 per hour in 2018, effectively the same minimum-wage level and implementation year set by the wage board for fast food workers in New York City.

Another critical benchmark for considering the appropriateness of a $15 minimum wage, and the state economy’s capacity to support it, is the growth in average worker productivity since 1970. Over the past 40 years, average labor productivity—the value of goods and services produced from each hour of work—has grown steadily across the United States, yet real (inflation-adjusted) hourly pay for the vast majority has barely budged (Bivens et al. 2014). This is due, in part, to the falling real value of state and federal minimum wages (Mishel 2014). In New York, had the 1970 state minimum wage of $11.29 in 2014 dollars been raised at the same growth rate as average U.S. labor productivity, it would be $21.40 today. This is not to say that the state minimum wage should be this high, but it does indicate that had lawmakers taken a different path over the past four decades, it could have been this high given growth in workers’ average output per hour.

Critics of raising the minimum wage sometimes argue that measuring changes in the minimum wage against changes in average labor productivity is inappropriate because productivity among low-wage workers has not grown as much as average labor productivity. This criticism misses the point. Rising average labor productivity provides the means for improving living standards for all workers. To observe that improvements in productivity would allow for a minimum wage of over $21 today is to say that had the benefits of productivity improvements been shared more equally, rather than being concentrated among the highest-paid earners and wealthiest households, the lowest-paid workers in our economy could be making over $21 an hour.5 It is a result of policy decisions that they are paid far less.

Finally, in assessing the suitability of a proposed minimum wage, analysts will also often compare the proposed minimum to the median hourly wage of full-time workers, a ratio known as the Kaitz index. (See Cooper, Schmitt, and Mishel 2015 for more information on the Kaitz index and historical Kaitz values of the U.S. minimum wage.) Based upon the American Community Survey (ACS) data used in this study, a minimum wage of $15 in 2021 would equal 58 percent of the projected median wage of full-time workers in New York state, under the conservative assumption that wages at the median grow no faster than projected inflation.6 This would be slightly above the high point of the federal minimum wage in 1968, when it equaled roughly 55 percent of the national median wage of full-time workers (although this difference may not be meaningful, since these estimates are produced using different data sets). Moreover, individual states have had minimum-to-median wage ratios as high as 67 percent, using the earliest available state-level data (Zipperer and Evans 2014). Additionally, a half dozen developed countries have national minimum wages equal to at least 57 percent of their median wage (Cooper 2015b).

While Gov. Cuomo has not yet released a specific timetable for the proposed phased-in statewide minimum-wage increase to $15, the schedule will likely resemble the fast food minimum-wage increase shown in the left side of Table 1. This report analyzes how raising the state minimum wage—applicable to all industries—to $15 over roughly the same period as the fast food wage order would affect New York workers and their pay. The right side of Table 1 shows the schedule of minimum-wage increases modeled in this report. Note that in the years after the New York City minimum wage has reached $15 per hour, this analysis assumes that the minimum wage would be indexed to inflation such that the state labor department would automatically make adjustments each year to preserve the inflation-adjusted value of the wage floor. This type of automatic indexing is the best way to ensure that the real value of a minimum-wage income does not erode over time. It removes the need for policymakers to repeatedly legislate further increases, and it allows businesses to plan for a small and predictable increase in the wage floor each year. Currently, 15 states and the District of Columbia use automatic inflation indexing.7

Table 1

Schedule of minimum-wage increases in New York

Fast Food Wage Board order Proposed state minimum-wage increase*
Minimum wage in: Minimum wage in:
Date New York City Areas outside New York City Date New York City Areas outside New York City
12/31/2015 $10.50 $9.75 04/01/2016 $10.50 $9.75
12/31/2016 $12.00 $10.75 12/31/2016 $12.00 $10.75
12/31/2017 $13.50 $11.75 12/31/2017 $13.50 $11.75
12/31/2018 $15.00 $12.75 12/31/2018 $15.00 $12.75
12/31/2019 $13.75 12/31/2019  $15.41** $13.75
12/31/2020 $14.50 12/31/2020  $15.82** $14.50
07/01/2021 $15.00 07/01/2021  $16.25** $15.00

* While Gov. Cuomo has not yet released a specific timetable for the proposed statewide increase to $15, this analysis assumes this increase would follow roughly the same schedule as the increase mandated for the state's fast food workers.
** This analysis assumes the New York City minimum wage would be indexed to inflation after reaching $15.

Source: Order of New York Labor Commissioner on the Report and Recommendations of the 2015 Fast Food Wage Board, September 2015

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Demographic characteristics of affected workers

Raising New York’s minimum wage in stages to $15 by mid-2021 would lift pay directly or indirectly for nearly 3.2 million New York workers, comprising 36.6 percent of workers employed in wage and salaried positions throughout the state.8

Figure A shows the number of workers who would receive a raise as the minimum wage is gradually increased, combining the affected workers in both New York City and elsewhere in the state. In the first step, simulated to occur on April 1, 2016, the minimum is raised from $9.00 to $10.50 in New York City and to $9.75 in the rest of the state, raising pay for 2.06 million workers in the state. This includes 1.6 million workers who would directly benefit—meaning their current pay rate as of January 1, 2016, would be between $9.00 and $9.74 outside of New York City and between $9.00 and $10.49 in New York City. An additional 460,000 workers would indirectly benefit, meaning they would likely receive a raise through spillover or “ripple” effects because their current pay is just above the new minimum wage levels reached on April 1. Raising the minimum wage typically results in wage increases for workers further up the wage ladder because employers want to maintain some progression in their internal pay scales (Wicks-Lim 2006).

Figure A

Number of workers (in millions) who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 1, 2021

Directly affected Indirectly affected Labels 
2016-04-01 1.6 0.460 0
2016-12-31 1.89 0.511 0
2017-12-31 2.16 0.523 0
2018-12-31 2.35 0.554 0
2019-12-31 2.43 0.587 0
2020-12-31 2.44 0.658 0
2021-07-01 2.415 0.747 0
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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With each successive increase, the cumulative number of workers who would benefit grows. By the second step (simulated to occur on December 31, 2016), when the minimum wage reaches $10.75 outside of New York City and $12.00 in New York City, 1.9 million workers would directly receive a raise, and 511,000 would indirectly receive a raise. Thus, the total number of affected workers would rise to 2.4 million in the second step, to 2.7 million in the third step a year later, and so on in the subsequent steps, reaching just under 3.2 million in the final step on July 1, 2021.

Of the 3.2 million New York workers who would benefit from the minimum-wage increase, 1.4 million work in New York City (45.6 percent of the total affected population), and 1.7 million work in the downstate suburbs and upstate (54.4 percent of affected workers throughout the state). Among all New York City workers, 34.8 percent would benefit from the increase. Among workers elsewhere in the state, 38.3 percent would receive a raise. See Appendix Table A1 for details on the number of workers directly and indirectly affected at each step of the minimum-wage phase-in for both city and non-city workers.

Age

The low-wage workers likely to benefit from increasing the minimum wage are often stereotyped as teenagers earning discretionary spending money. Although this would not justify paying them wages significantly lower than those paid to their counterparts a generation ago, this stereotype is false. In fact, as the tendency for young adults to attend college has grown over the years, teenagers account for a relatively small portion of the New York workforce and represent only 5.2 percent of those who would be affected by increasing the minimum wage to $15. Nearly 95 percent of affected workers are at least 20 years old.

Figure B indicates that over three-fifths of those affected are between the ages of 25 and 54. Among affected workers, far more are age 40 or older (40.9 percent) than are under age 25 (23.8 percent).

Figure B

Age of workers who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

Share of affected workers who are teenagers versus age 20 or older

 Share
Age 20 or older 94.8%
Teenagers 5.2%
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Detailed age breakdown of affected workers

Share of affected workers
Less than age 25 23.8%
Age 25 to 39 35.3%
Age 40 to 54 25.2%
Age 55+ 15.7%
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Gender

Women account for 52.7 percent of workers who would be affected by the minimum-wage increase, slightly higher than their share of the New York workforce. As shown in Figure C, 39.0 percent of New York’s working women would get a pay increase if the state minimum wage were raised to $15 by mid-2021, as would about one-third (34.3 percent) of the state’s working men. About 37 percent of working mothers and 24.3 percent of working fathers would benefit. The affected rates are even higher for single parents: Over 45 percent of single working mothers would get a raise from a $15 state minimum wage, as would 39.3 percent of single working fathers.

Figure C

Sex of workers who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

Share
Women 52.7%
Men 47.3%
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Shares of demographic groups that would benefit, by gender

Women Men
Workers 39.0% 34.3%
Working parents 36.7% 24.3%
Working single parents 45.4% 39.3%
Workers of color 44.2% 44.8%
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Race/ethnicity

When the state is considered as a whole, about half (49.1 percent) of those who would benefit from a minimum-wage increase to $15 are white, non-Hispanic workers, as shown in Figure D. Latino workers of any race make up the next largest share, at just under a quarter (24.6 percent) of the total affected population. Black or African American workers are 15.2 percent of the total, Asians comprise 8.9 percent, and workers of other races or ethnicities make up the remaining 2.2 percent.

Figure D

Race/ethnicity of workers who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

Race Share of total affected
White, non-Hispanic 49.1%
Black or African American 15.2%
Hispanic of any race 24.6%
Asian 8.9%
Other race/ethnicity 2.2%
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Share of each worker race/ethnic group that would benefit

Race Share of each category
White, non-Hispanic 30.9%
Black or African American 40.5%
Hispanic of any race 51.8%
Asian 37.5%
Other race/ethnicity 39.8%
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Despite being a smaller share of the total affected population statewide, workers of color would benefit from a minimum-wage increase at significantly higher rates than would white, non-Hispanic workers. The bar chart in Figure D shows the share of each race or ethnic group that would receive a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $15 by mid-2021. As the figure shows, 40.5 percent of all black or African American workers would receive higher pay, as would more than half of all Latino workers. More than a third (37.5 percent) of Asian workers would receive a raise—while 30.9 percent of white, non-Hispanic workers would receive higher pay.

Because the racial and ethnic composition of New York City is different than that of the rest of the state, there are meaningful differences in the composition of the workers likely to be affected by the proposed minimum-wage increase to $15. Among the workforce in New York City, Hispanic workers comprise the largest share of the affected population, at 36.7 percent of workers likely to get a raise. White, non-Hispanic workers make up just less than one quarter (24.0 percent) of the affected workforce. Black or African American workers account for 21.5 percent, and Asians are 15.3 percent of those affected. Demographic breakdowns for the affected populations in the state as a whole, in New York City, and outside New York City can be found in Appendix Tables A2, A3, and A4, respectively.

Education

Many of the workers who would benefit from increasing the New York minimum wage to $15 by 2021 have more education than is commonly acknowledged. As shown in Figure E, more than half of affected workers have at least some college experience, with nearly 10 percent having an associate degree and almost 20 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Figure E

Educational attainment of workers who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

Share
Less than high school 16.0%
High school 31.8%
Some college, no degree 23.0%
Associate degree 9.4%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 19.8%
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Share of each worker educational attainment group that would benefit

Share of category
Less than high school 67.0%
High school 50.8%
Some college, no degree 45.3%
Associate degree 35.4%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 18.1%
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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The bar graph in Figure E shows the share of workers at each education level who would receive a raise from increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2021. Not surprisingly, workers with lower levels of education are far more likely to be affected. Two-thirds (67.0 percent) of workers with less than a high school education would receive a pay increase, as would half (50.8 percent) of all workers with only a high school diploma. Just over one-third (35.4 percent) of those with an associate degree stand to benefit from the higher minimum wage, as do about one in six New York workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Hours of work

Many New York workers who would benefit from a state minimum-wage increase to $15 also work longer hours than is commonly acknowledged; they are not predominantly working part time or in after-school jobs. As shown in the pie chart in Figure F, two-thirds of affected workers work full time, defined as working at least 35 hours per week. Another 24.7 percent work between 20 and 34 hours per week, and only 8.4 percent work less than 20 hours per week.

Figure F

Work hours of workers who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

Share of affected workers
Part time (<20 hours) 8.4%
Mid time (20-34 hours) 24.7%
Full time (35+ hours) 66.9%
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Share of each work hour group that would benefit

Share of category
Part time (<20 hours) 53.9%
Mid time (20-34 hours) 64.4%
Full time (35+ hours) 30.5%
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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It is important to note that many individuals who work less than full time are not opting for fewer hours by choice. Some are limited by a lack of available work, while circumstances prevent others from seeking full-time employment, such as the need to care for a family member, or a lack of adequate work supports that might facilitate a full-time schedule (e.g., access to child care, paid leave, or a flexible work schedule). For these workers, an increase in their hourly rate of pay is arguably even more important, as it could provide resources that could enable them to work more hours.

The bar chart in Figure F shows that 30.5 percent of full-time workers in the state are likely to benefit from raising the minimum wage to $15, compared with nearly two-thirds of those working 20­–34 hours per week and more than half of those who work less than 20 hours per week.

Household and family income

The great majority of New York workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage come from families of modest means. As shown in Figure G, about 43 percent of affected workers have total household incomes of less than $50,000, and nearly 63 percent have household incomes of less than $75,000. While these levels of household income may seem high relative to a minimum-wage income, overall household incomes of New York workers, including those who commute from other states, tend to be higher than elsewhere in the country. Less than a quarter (24.3 percent) of all New York workers (including those who commute) have total household incomes below $50,000, and only 42 percent have household incomes less than $75,000. This means that workers from the least-well-off households would disproportionately benefit from the wage hike.

Figure G

Household income of workers who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 2021

Family income level Share
Less than $50,000  42.6%
$50,000 – $74,999  19.9%
$75,000 – $99,999 12.9%
$100,000 – $149,999 13.5% 
$150,000 or more 11.1% 
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Note: Percentages do not sum to 100% due to rounding.

Source: EPI analysis using American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Often, minimum-wage opponents say that the minimum wage is “poorly targeted” because some of the workers who would benefit from a minimum-wage hike come from middle-income families. Considering how much of the net job change since the onset of the Great Recession has occurred in low-wage sectors, it is perhaps not surprising that many middle-income families have a low-wage earner.9 Yet the fact that the minimum wage provides protection to workers at all levels of family income is not a failing of the law; rather, it reflects the minimum wage’s role as a labor standard. The minimum wage prevents exploitation of workers, regardless of their socioeconomic background. No worker, regardless of his family income level, should have to work for unacceptably low wages. Moreover, the fact that both low- and middle-income families alike stand to benefit from an increase in the state’s minimum wage underscores that the failure to adequately raise the minimum wage over the past 45 years has hurt both low- and middle-income families.

Nevertheless, when looking at family income of the affected workforce (listed in Appendix Table A2), it becomes clear that many of the workers who would benefit from a higher state minimum wage are desperately in need of higher incomes.10 Just less than a quarter of affected workers are either in poverty or have family incomes within 150 percent of the poverty line. In fact, 37.1 percent of affected workers are either in poverty or what experts often describe as “near poverty,” having total family income less than 200 percent of the poverty line. Roughly 18 percent of all New York workers have family incomes that fall into this “near poverty” range, indicating again that the workers with the greatest family need would disproportionately benefit from a higher state minimum wage.

Figure H shows the share of workers grouped by ratio of their family income to the poverty line who would benefit from the higher minimum wage. Three quarters of workers in poverty would get a raise, as would 78.2 percent of workers with family incomes between 101 percent and 200 percent of the poverty line. In contrast, just over 20 percent of workers with family incomes at or above 300 percent of the poverty line would be affected by the policy change.

Figure H

Share of family income group (relative to poverty line) that would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by 2021

Family income-to-poverty status Share of category affected (directly or indirectly)
At or below the poverty line 75.4%
101-200% poverty 78.2%
201-300% poverty 58.7%
301% poverty or more 21.4%
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Family status and children

Many of the New York workers who would benefit from increasing the state minimum wage to $15 are supporting families and children. As shown in the pie chart in Figure I, more than one-third (35.8 percent) of the affected workers are married, and just less than one-third (33.0 percent) of affected workers have children.

Figure I

Family status of workers who would benefit from increasing the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

Family status Share of total affected
Married parent 22.0%
Single parent 11.0%
Married, no kids 13.8%
Unmarried, no kids 53.3%
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Share of each worker family type that would benefit

Share of each category
Married parent 26.8%
Single parent 44.1%
Married, no kids 27.8%
Unmarried, no kids 45.7%
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Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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The bar chart portion of Figure I shows the share of each group of workers—by their family status—who would benefit from increasing the state minimum wage to $15 by 2021. More than a quarter of all working married parents in New York would get a pay raise. For single parents facing the challenge of raising one or more children on their own and having to juggle the demands of child care and work, low pay only compounds their difficulties. In New York, over 340,000 working single parents—roughly 44 percent of all working single parents in the state—would get a raise if the state minimum wage were increased to $15.

Statewide, 1.3 million children have a working parent who would benefit from a minimum-wage increase to $15 by 2021—equaling 34.3 percent of all children in the state.

Researchers also suspect that the increased share of jobs paying low wages in recent years has contributed to a rising share of young people delaying marriage, postponing having children, and continuing to live with their parents longer into adult life.11 Thus, it is not surprising that many unmarried or childless young adults in their 20s and 30s would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage.

The importance of affected workers’ pay to their total family incomes

Low-wage workers are sometimes characterized as “secondary earners,” suggesting that their work earnings are discretionary or inconsequential to their family’s financial health. The data show that this is not at all the case; the workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2018 in New York City or by 2021 in the rest of the state are often the primary breadwinners for their families. On average, workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $15 earn 50.3 percent of their family’s total income. Among workers age 25–39—who constitute 35.3 percent of all affected workers—their earnings account for nearly 58 percent of their family’s total income. More than 855,000, or 27.0 percent, of all affected workers are the sole providers of income for their families.

Raising the state minimum wage to $15 would provide a significant boost to the incomes of affected workers. Once the $15 minimum is fully phased-in, affected workers would receive, on average, $4,800 more in annual income (assuming no change in work hours).

10 economic sectors account for nearly three-fourths of affected workers

Table 2 shows the 10 industries in New York that account for the largest numbers of workers who would be affected by increasing the state minimum wage to $15 by 2021. Combined, these 10 sectors account for just over 2.3 million, or 73.1 percent, of the 3.2 million affected workers.

Table 2

Top 10 New York industries with the largest numbers of workers who would benefit from increasing the state minimum wage to $15 by 2021

Directly affected Indirectly affected Total affected
 Estimated workforce  Share of state workforce  Directly affected Share of industry  Indirectly affected Share of industry Total affected Share of industry affected (directly or indirectly) Share of the total affected population
Total (all industries) 8,635,791 100.0% 2,415,033 28.0% 747,313 8.7% 3,162,345 36.6% 100.0%
Total private industries (for profit and non-profit)  7,225,358 83.7%  2,262,565 31.3% 659,728 9.1% 2,922,292 40.4% 92.4%
1. Retail trade 962,791 11.1% 451,951 46.9% 103,245 10.7% 555,196 57.7% 17.6%
2. Restaurants 537,054 6.2% 394,543 73.5% 32,725 6.1% 427,268 79.6% 13.5%
3. Home-based and residential care, social assistance, and child care 866,865 10.0% 311,535 35.9% 108,353 12.5% 419,888 48.4% 13.3%
4. Local government 854,552 9.9% 109,633 12.8% 62,429 7.3% 172,063 20.1% 5.4%
5. Educational services 450,370 5.2% 100,934 22.4% 36,587 8.1% 137,521 30.5% 4.3%
6. Finance, insurance, and real estate 694,087 8.0% 87,662 12.6% 47,253 6.8% 134,915 19.4% 4.3%
7. Construction 393,121 4.6% 97,087 24.7% 37,387 9.5% 134,474 34.2% 4.3%
8. Transportation, warehouses, and utilities 316,086 3.7% 91,091 28.8% 35,267 11.2% 126,358 40.0% 4.0%
9. Durable manufacturing 328,884 3.8% 65,318 19.9% 36,788 11.2% 102,107 31.0% 3.2%
10. Personal services 127,722 1.5% 94,424 73.9% 6,637 5.2% 101,061 79.1% 3.2%
Total, top 10 industries with greatest number of affected workers 5,531,532 64.1% 2,310,850 41.8% 73.1%

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Retail trade and restaurants have long been recognized as the largest employers of low-wage workers likely to be affected by raising the minimum wage. The New York Fast Food Wage Board has already acted to institute a wage order that is expected to raise pay for an estimated 132,000 workers employed by large chain restaurants. The wage order would cover roughly one-third of all restaurant workers projected to be affected by a phased-in $15 minimum wage. (Note that these workers are included in the figures presented here; see endnote 8 for further detail.) Retail has, by far, the greatest number of workers who would be affected by the proposed minimum-wage increase, with over 555,000 workers likely to get a raise, or 57.7 percent of all retail trade workers. Within retail, just over two-thirds of all grocery store workers (not listed in the table) would be affected by raising the minimum wage to $15.

A large group of workers providing health and human services would also be affected by a statewide increase in the minimum wage. Among these workers are home healthcare workers in the ambulatory care sector, nursing home workers and providers of services to the developmentally disabled in the residential care sector, and child care and other human service providers in the social assistance sector. Most of these low-wage health and human service workers are employed by nonprofits under contract to state and local governments or are funded under a Medicaid-supported program. In total, there are approximately 420,000 New York workers in these three health and human service sectors who would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $15, representing nearly half (48.4 percent) of all workers in these sectors. Among child care workers, who are included in social assistance, over 60 percent would be affected, and if home healthcare workers were broken out of the broader ambulatory sector, their share likely would be over 90 percent since they are among the lowest-paid workers in the state.12

About 20 percent of local government employees would be affected by the higher minimum wage, although this is one of the largest employment sectors in the state. In total, roughly 172,000 local government workers, including those working for school districts, would be affected by the proposed increase.

Other sectors among the 10 largest employers of affected workers include educational services; finance, insurance, and real estate; construction; and transportation and warehousing.

Tables showing the breakdown of affected workers by industry in New York as a whole, in New York City, and in the rest of the state can be found in Appendix Tables A5, A6, and A7, respectively.

Conclusion

Since its inception in the Great Depression, a strong minimum wage has been recognized as a key labor market institution that, if effectively maintained, can provide the foundation for equitable and adequate pay for American workers. However, the failure to regularly and adequately raise the minimum wage over the past five decades is one of several policy failures that have denied a generation of American workers more significant improvement in their quality of life. In fact, the erosion of the minimum wage has left low-wage workers today earning significantly less (in inflation-adjusted terms) than their counterparts 50 years ago.

In the absence of changes at the federal level, state policymakers are taking action into their own hands by updating state labor standards to reflect today’s economy and the needs of workers and their families. Raising the New York minimum wage in several steps to $15 would restore its value to a level that ensures full-time work is a means to escape poverty—and would provide more than a third of New York’s workers with a long-overdue improvement in their standard of living.

About the author

David Cooper is an economic analyst with the Economic Policy Institute. He conducts national and state-level research on a variety of issues, including the minimum wage, employment and unemployment, poverty, and wage and income trends. He also provides support to the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) on data-related inquiries and quantitative analyses. David has been interviewed and cited by numerous local and national media for his research on the minimum wage, poverty, and U.S. economic trends. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University.

Appendix A: Additional tables and figures

Appendix Table A1

Estimated effects of a New York state minimum-wage increase to $15 by 2021, by step and region of the state

Simulated increases Total estimated workers1 Directly affected2 Indirectly affected3 Total affected Total affected as a share of all workers Increase in total annual wages for directly and indirectly affected4 (nominal) Increase in total annual wages for directly and indirectly affected (2014$) Cumulative change in average hourly wage of affected workers (nominal dollars) Cumulative change in average hourly wage of affected workers (2014$) Cumulative change in average annual income of affected workers (nominal dollars) Cumulative change in average annual income of affected workers (2014$)
Full state
April 1, 2016: $10.50 in NYC, $9.75 outside NYC  8,565,000  1,600,000 460,000  2,060,000 24.1% $2,492,021 $2,435,445 $0.73 $0.72 $1,209 $1,182
December 31, 2016: $12.00 in NYC, $10.75 outside NYC  8,574,000  1,888,000 511,000  2,399,000 28.0% $5,513,794 $5,388,615 $1.39 $1.36 $2,298 $2,246
December 31, 2017: $13.50 in NYC, $11.75 outside NYC  8,588,000  2,158,000 523,000  2,681,000 31.2% $8,819,887 $8,409,333 $1.98 $1.88 $3,290 $3,137
December 31, 2018: $15.00 in NYC, $12.75 outside NYC  8,601,000  2,349,000 554,000  2,903,000 33.8% $12,546,922 $11,654,338 $2.58 $2.40 $4,322 $4,015
December 31, 2019: $15.41 in NYC, $13.75 outside NYC*  8,615,000  2,428,000 587,000  3,015,000 35.0% $14,353,557 $12,984,245 $2.86 $2.58 $4,759 $4,305
December 31, 2020: $15.82 in NYC, $14.50 outside NYC*  8,629,000  2,439,000 658,000  3,097,000 35.9% $15,915,305 $14,019,166 $3.09 $2.72 $5,139 $4,527
July 1, 2021: $16.25 in NYC, $15.00 outside NYC*  8,636,000  2,415,000 747,000  3,162,000 36.6% $17,832,642 $15,301,032 $3.39 $2.91 $5,639 $4,839
Total (including indexed values)*  8,636,000  2,415,000 747,000  3,162,000 36.6% $17,832,642 $15,301,032 $3.39 $2.91 $5,639 $4,839
New York City
April 1, 2016: $10.50  4,113,000 789,000 200,000 989,000 24.0% $1,640,940 $1,603,686 $0.95 $0.93 $1,659 $1,621
December 31, 2016: $12.00  4,117,000 929,000 209,000  1,138,000 27.6% $3,582,401 $3,501,070 $1.80 $1.76 $3,148 $3,077
December 31, 2017: $13.50  4,124,000  1,083,000 217,000  1,300,000 31.5% $5,716,596 $5,450,496 $2.50 $2.38 $4,398 $4,193
December 31, 2018: $15.00  4,131,000  1,177,000 242,000  1,419,000 34.4% $8,132,978 $7,554,401 $3.25 $3.02 $5,733 $5,326
December 31, 2019: $15.41*  4,137,000  1,142,000 279,000  1,421,000 34.3% $8,504,847 $7,693,495 $3.39 $3.06 $5,984 $5,413
December 31, 2020: $15.82*  4,144,000  1,144,000 279,000  1,423,000 34.3% $8,855,881 $7,800,797 $3.52 $3.10 $6,221 $5,480
July 1, 2021: $16.25*  4,147,000  1,145,000 298,000  1,443,000 34.8% $9,545,460 $8,190,339 $3.74 $3.21 $6,614 $5,675
Total (including indexed values)*  4,147,000  1,145,000 298,000  1,443,000 34.8% $9,545,460 $8,190,339 $3.74 $3.21 $6,777 $5,675
Total (excluding indexed values)*  4,131,000  1,177,000 242,000  1,419,000 34.4% $8,132,978 $7,554,401 $3.25 $3.02 $5,733 $5,326
Areas outside New York City
April 1, 2016: $9.75 outside NYC  4,452,000 811,000 261,000  1,072,000 24.1% $851,081 $831,759 $0.53 $0.52 $794 $776
December 31, 2016: $10.75 outside NYC  4,456,000 959,000 302,000  1,261,000 28.3% $1,931,394 $1,887,546 $1.02 $0.99 $1,532 $1,497
December 31, 2017: $11.75 outside NYC  4,464,000  1,074,000 306,000  1,380,000 30.9% $3,103,290 $2,958,836 $1.48 $1.41 $2,248 $2,143
December 31, 2018: $12.75 outside NYC  4,471,000  1,172,000 312,000  1,484,000 33.2% $4,413,944 $4,099,938 $1.95 $1.81 $2,974 $2,762
December 31, 2019: $13.75 outside NYC  4,478,000  1,286,000 308,000  1,594,000 35.6% $5,848,710 $5,290,750 $2.38 $2.16 $3,668 $3,318
December 31, 2020: $14.50 outside NYC  4,485,000  1,295,000 379,000  1,674,000 37.3% $7,059,424 $6,218,369 $2.73 $2.40 $4,218 $3,716
July 1, 2021: $15.00 outside NYC  4,489,000  1,270,000 449,000  1,719,000 38.3% $8,287,182 $7,110,693 $3.10 $2.66 $4,821 $4,136
Total  4,489,000  1,270,000 449,000  1,719,000 38.3% $8,287,182 $7,110,693 $3.10 $2.66 $4,821 $4,136
Total estimated workers is estimated from the ACS respondents who were 16 years old or older, employed, but not self-employed, and for whom a valid hourly wage can be imputed from annual wage earnings, usual hours worked per week, and weeks worked in the previous year.
Directly affected workers will see their wages rise, as the new minimum-wage rate will exceed their current hourly pay.
Indirectly affected workers have a wage rate just above the new minimum wage (between the new minimum wage and 115 percent of the new minimum). They will receive a raise as employer pay scales are adjusted upward to reflect the new minimum wage.
4 Total amount of increased annual wages for directly and indirectly affected workers.

* For the final three steps (2019–2021), it is assumed the New York City minimum wage is indexed to inflation.

Projections for inflation made using NY State Budget Office projections for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for consumers in New York State. Assumed annual working age population growth is 0.154% (2015-2025 annualized population growth rate projections from Cornell Population Center (N.d.).) Assumed annual nominal wage growth of 0.03% leading up to the first step (NY average annual wage growth of bottom 20% of wage earners from 2010-2014, according to CPS ORG), prorated to the number of months between the midpoint of the data year and the first increase. In subsequent steps, wages are assumed to grow at the projected annual pace of NYS consumer price inflation, per the state budget office: 2.0% in 2016, 2.5% in 2017, 2.6% in 2018, 2.7% in 2019, 2020, and 2021, prorated to the number of months between increases. Some workers indirectly affected in earlier steps will be directly-affected in later steps thus the final step totals describe all workers affected as a result of the increases.  Wage increase amounts are cumulative totals from all steps, except as indicated.

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Appendix Table A2

Characteristics of workers in New York state who would benefit from increasing the state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

 Directly affected  Indirectly affected  Total affected
Category  Estimated workforce  Count Share of category  Count Share of category Count Share of category Share of the total affected population
Total  8,635,791  2,415,033 28.0% 747,313 8.7% 3,162,345 36.6% 100.0%
Sex
Female  4,268,056  1,278,035 29.9% 387,560 9.1% 1,665,595 39.0% 52.7%
Male  4,367,735  1,136,998 26.0% 359,753 8.2% 1,496,751 34.3% 47.3%
Age
20 or older  8,402,019  2,264,580 27.0% 732,900 8.7% 2,997,480 35.7% 94.8%
Under 20 233,772 150,453 64.4% 14,412 6.2% 164,865 70.5% 5.2%
Less than 25  1,069,485 648,505 60.6% 105,085 9.8% 753,591 70.5% 23.8%
25 to 39  2,984,891 827,905 27.7% 287,402 9.6% 1,115,306 37.4% 35.3%
40 to 54  2,835,217 584,145 20.6% 211,398 7.5% 795,543 28.1% 25.2%
55 or older  1,746,198 354,478 20.3% 143,428 8.2% 497,906 28.5% 15.7%
Race/ethnicity
White, non-Hispanic  5,023,160  1,126,965 22.4% 426,737 8.5% 1,553,703 30.9% 49.1%
Black or African American  1,184,952 361,324 30.5% 118,968 10.0% 480,292 40.5% 15.2%
Hispanic of any race  1,501,730 644,468 42.9% 132,766 8.8% 777,234 51.8% 24.6%
Asian 752,837 230,304 30.6% 51,954 6.9% 282,258 37.5% 8.9%
Other race or ethnicity 173,111 51,971 30.0% 16,888 9.8% 68,859 39.8% 2.2%
Education
Less than high school 753,983 430,558 57.1% 74,272 9.9% 504,830 67.0% 16.0%
High school  1,975,848 782,436 39.6% 222,220 11.2% 1,004,656 50.8% 31.8%
Some college  1,606,820 562,155 35.0% 165,140 10.3% 727,296 45.3% 23.0%
Associate degree 841,381 207,593 24.7% 90,580 10.8% 298,173 35.4% 9.4%
Bachelor’s or higher  3,457,760 432,290 12.5% 195,101 5.6% 627,391 18.1% 19.8%
Family status
Married parent  2,596,552 509,064 19.6% 185,621 7.1% 694,685 26.8% 22.0%
Single parent 786,983 269,186 34.2% 77,959 9.9% 347,145 44.1% 11.0%
Married, no children  1,563,703 306,502 19.6% 128,370 8.2% 434,872 27.8% 13.8%
Single, no children  3,688,553  1,330,281 36.1% 355,363 9.6% 1,685,643 45.7% 53.3%
Household income (2014$)
Less than $50,000  1,960,544  1,099,231 56.1% 247,450 12.6% 1,346,682 68.7% 42.6%
$50,000–$74,999  1,478,556 447,849 30.3% 181,269 12.3% 629,118 42.5% 19.9%
$75,000–$99,999  1,304,905 290,003 22.2% 117,689 9.0% 407,692 31.2% 12.9%
$100,000–$149,999  1,863,931 309,846 16.6% 118,244 6.3% 428,090 23.0% 13.5%
$150,000 or more  2,027,855 268,102 13.2% 82,661 4.1% 350,763 17.3% 11.1%
Work hours
Part time (<20 hours/week) 493,157 227,255 46.1% 38,397 7.8% 265,652 53.9% 8.4%
Mid time (20–34 hours/week)  1,212,340 657,919 54.3% 122,311 10.1% 780,229 64.4% 24.7%
Full time (35+ hours/week)  6,930,295  1,529,859 22.1% 586,605 8.5% 2,116,463 30.5% 66.9%
Sector
Federal government 153,455 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Private, for profit  6,259,722  2,046,414 32.7% 573,340 9.2% 2,619,754 41.9% 82.8%
Local government 854,552 109,633 12.8% 62,429 7.3% 172,063 20.1% 5.4%
Private, nonprofit 965,637 216,150 22.4% 86,388 8.9% 302,538 31.3% 9.6%
State government 402,426 42,835 10.6% 25,156 6.3% 67,990 16.9% 2.2%
Family income-to-poverty-line status
At or below the poverty line 494,207 348,804 70.6% 23,933 4.8% 372,737 75.4% 11.8%
101–150% poverty 487,189 350,187 71.9% 48,939 10.0% 399,126 81.9% 12.6%
151–200% poverty 535,099 325,084 60.8% 75,348 14.1% 400,432 74.8% 12.7%
201–300% poverty  1,200,327 516,935 43.1% 187,612 15.6% 704,546 58.7% 22.3%
301% poverty or more  5,856,688 844,672 14.4% 408,118 7.0% 1,252,790 21.4% 39.6%
Missing poverty status 62,282 29,352 47.1% 3,363 5.4% 32,715 52.5% 1.0%
 Total est. # of children   Child has directly affected parent    Child has indirectly affected parent    Total children with affected parents  % of all children 
Children with at least one affected parent  3,880,975  1,015,144 317,912 1,333,056 34.3%

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Appendix Table A3

Characteristics of New York City workers who would benefit from increasing the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2018 and indexing it to inflation

 Directly affected  Indirectly affected  Total affected
Category  Estimated workforce  Count Share of category  Count Share of category Count Share of category Share of the total affected population
Total  4,147,178  1,144,905 27.6% 298,377 7.2%  1,443,282 34.8% 100.0%
Sex
Female  2,018,403 575,744 28.5% 150,421 7.5% 726,165 36.0% 50.3%
Male  2,128,775 569,160 26.7% 147,957 7.0% 717,117 33.7% 49.7%
Age
20 or older  4,094,335  1,111,261 27.1% 293,815 7.2%  1,405,076 34.3% 97.4%
Under 20 52,843 33,644 63.7% 4,562 8.6% 38,206 72.3% 2.6%
Less than 25 403,519 233,126 57.8% 37,179 9.2% 270,305 67.0% 18.7%
25 to 39  1,656,839 441,307 26.6% 131,337 7.9% 572,643 34.6% 39.7%
40 to 54  1,339,685 310,426 23.2% 82,051 6.1% 392,477 29.3% 27.2%
55 or older 747,136 160,046 21.4% 47,811 6.4% 207,857 27.8% 14.4%
Race/ethnicity
White, non-Hispanic  1,622,250 253,436 15.6% 93,570 5.8% 347,006 21.4% 24.0%
Black or African American 812,819 234,215 28.8% 76,622 9.4% 310,837 38.2% 21.5%
Hispanic of any race  1,031,672 447,717 43.4% 82,679 8.0% 530,396 51.4% 36.7%
Asian 585,046 183,518 31.4% 37,897 6.5% 221,414 37.8% 15.3%
Other race or ethnicity 95,392 26,019 27.3% 7,610 8.0% 33,629 35.3% 2.3%
Education
Less than high school 422,058 256,425 60.8% 35,906 8.5% 292,331 69.3% 20.3%
High school 839,885 368,667 43.9% 78,708 9.4% 447,375 53.3% 31.0%
Some college 656,196 222,204 33.9% 58,941 9.0% 281,145 42.8% 19.5%
Associate degree 295,935 74,386 25.1% 29,092 9.8% 103,478 35.0% 7.2%
Bachelor’s or higher  1,933,104 223,223 11.5% 95,730 5.0% 318,953 16.5% 22.1%
Family status
Married parent  1,204,006 270,699 22.5% 70,285 5.8% 340,984 28.3% 23.6%
Single parent 392,425 139,210 35.5% 31,168 7.9% 170,378 43.4% 11.8%
Married, no children 704,752 147,910 21.0% 46,890 6.7% 194,801 27.6% 13.5%
Single, no children  1,845,995 587,085 31.8% 150,034 8.1% 737,120 39.9% 51.1%
Household income (2014$)
Less than $50,000 967,553 568,448 58.8% 101,949 10.5% 670,397 69.3% 46.4%
$50,000–$74,999 657,109 205,585 31.3% 65,548 10.0% 271,133 41.3% 18.8%
$75,000–$99,999 578,894 132,584 22.9% 47,836 8.3% 180,419 31.2% 12.5%
$100,000–$149,999 838,739 131,817 15.7% 48,171 5.7% 179,988 21.5% 12.5%
$150,000 or more  1,104,884 106,470 9.6% 34,874 3.2% 141,345 12.8% 9.8%
Work hours
Part time (<20 hours/week) 160,401 69,838 43.5% 10,175 6.3% 80,013 49.9% 5.5%
Mid time (20–34 hours/week) 496,057 274,794 55.4% 49,181 9.9% 323,975 65.3% 22.4%
Full time (35+ hours/week)  3,490,719 800,273 22.9% 239,022 6.8%  1,039,295 29.8% 72.0%
Sector
Federal government 78,842 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Private, for profit  3,097,045 998,104 32.2% 235,347 7.6%  1,233,451 39.8% 85.5%
Local government 433,540 50,058 11.5% 30,300 7.0% 80,358 18.5% 5.6%
Private, nonprofit 432,129 84,961 19.7% 27,016 6.3% 111,977 25.9% 7.8%
State government 105,623 11,782 11.2% 5,714 5.4% 17,495 16.6% 1.2%
Family income-to-poverty-line status
At or below the poverty line 273,401 194,200 71.0% 10,367 3.8% 204,567 74.8% 14.2%
101–150% poverty 265,248 196,544 74.1% 22,606 8.5% 219,149 82.6% 15.2%
151–200% poverty 256,091 158,727 62.0% 34,512 13.5% 193,239 75.5% 13.4%
201–300% poverty 551,482 249,378 45.2% 72,667 13.2% 322,044 58.4% 22.3%
301% poverty or more  2,788,632 340,946 12.2% 157,871 5.7% 498,817 17.9% 34.6%
Missing poverty status 12,324 5,110 41.5% 355 2.9% 5,465 44.3% 0.4%
 Total est. # of children   Child has directly affected parent    Child has indirectly affected parent    Total children with affected parents  % of all children
Children with at least one affected parent  2,040,352 566,742 135,548 702,290 34.4%

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Appendix Table A4

Characteristics of New York workers outside New York City who would benefit from increasing the state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021

 Directly affected  Indirectly affected  Total affected
Category  Estimated workforce  Count Share of category  Count Share of category Count Share of category Share of the total affected population
Total  4,488,613  1,270,128 28.3% 448,935 10.0%  1,719,064 38.3% 100.0%
Sex
Female  2,249,653 702,291 31.2% 237,139 10.5% 939,430 41.8% 54.6%
Male  2,238,960 567,838 25.4% 211,796 9.5% 779,634 34.8% 45.4%
Age
20 or older  4,307,684  1,153,319 26.8% 439,085 10.2%  1,592,404 37.0% 92.6%
Under 20 180,929 116,809 64.6% 9,850 5.4% 126,659 70.0% 7.4%
Less than 25 665,966 415,380 62.4% 67,907 10.2% 483,286 72.6% 28.1%
25 to 39  1,328,052 386,598 29.1% 156,065 11.8% 542,663 40.9% 31.6%
40 to 54  1,495,532 273,719 18.3% 129,347 8.6% 403,066 27.0% 23.4%
55 or older 999,062 194,431 19.5% 95,617 9.6% 290,049 29.0% 16.9%
Race/ethnicity
White, non-Hispanic  3,400,910 873,529 25.7% 333,168 9.8%  1,206,697 35.5% 70.2%
Black or African American 372,133 127,109 34.2% 42,346 11.4% 169,455 45.5% 9.9%
Hispanic of any race 470,059 196,751 41.9% 50,087 10.7% 246,838 52.5% 14.4%
Asian 167,792 46,786 27.9% 14,058 8.4% 60,844 36.3% 3.5%
Other race or ethnicity 77,719 25,952 33.4% 9,278 11.9% 35,230 45.3% 2.0%
Education
Less than high school 331,925 174,133 52.5% 38,366 11.6% 212,499 64.0% 12.4%
High school  1,135,962 413,769 36.4% 143,512 12.6% 557,281 49.1% 32.4%
Some college 950,624 339,951 35.8% 106,200 11.2% 446,151 46.9% 26.0%
Associate degree 545,445 133,207 24.4% 61,488 11.3% 194,695 35.7% 11.3%
Bachelor’s or higher  1,524,656 209,067 13.7% 99,370 6.5% 308,438 20.2% 17.9%
Family status
Married parent  1,392,546 238,365 17.1% 115,336 8.3% 353,701 25.4% 20.6%
Single parent 394,558 129,976 32.9% 46,791 11.9% 176,767 44.8% 10.3%
Married, no children 858,951 158,591 18.5% 81,480 9.5% 240,071 27.9% 14.0%
Single, no children  1,842,558 743,195 40.3% 205,328 11.1% 948,524 51.5% 55.2%
Household income (2014$)
Less than $50,000 992,992 530,783 53.5% 145,502 14.7% 676,285 68.1% 39.3%
$50,000–$74,999 821,447 242,264 29.5% 115,721 14.1% 357,986 43.6% 20.8%
$75,000–$99,999 726,010 157,420 21.7% 69,853 9.6% 227,273 31.3% 13.2%
$100,000–$149,999  1,025,192 178,029 17.4% 70,073 6.8% 248,103 24.2% 14.4%
$150,000 or more 922,972 161,632 17.5% 47,786 5.2% 209,418 22.7% 12.2%
Work hours
Part time (<20 hours/week) 332,755 157,418 47.3% 28,222 8.5% 185,640 55.8% 10.8%
Mid time (20–34 hours/week) 716,282 383,125 53.5% 73,130 10.2% 456,255 63.7% 26.5%
Full time (35+ hours/week)  3,439,575 729,586 21.2% 347,583 10.1%  1,077,169 31.3% 62.7%
Sector
Federal government 74,613 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Private, for profit  3,162,677  1,048,311 33.1% 337,993 10.7%  1,386,303 43.8% 80.6%
Local government 421,011 59,575 14.2% 32,129 7.6% 91,704 21.8% 5.3%
Private, nonprofit 533,508 131,189 24.6% 59,372 11.1% 190,561 35.7% 11.1%
State government 296,803 31,053 10.5% 19,442 6.6% 50,495 17.0% 2.9%
Family income-to-poverty-line status
At or below the poverty line 220,806 154,604 70.0% 13,566 6.1% 168,170 76.2% 9.8%
101–150% poverty 221,941 153,643 69.2% 26,333 11.9% 179,977 81.1% 10.5%
151–200% poverty 279,007 166,357 59.6% 40,836 14.6% 207,193 74.3% 12.1%
201–300% poverty 648,845 267,557 41.2% 114,945 17.7% 382,502 59.0% 22.3%
301% poverty or more  3,068,056 503,726 16.4% 250,247 8.2% 753,973 24.6% 43.9%
Missing poverty status 49,957 24,242 48.5% 3,008 6.0% 27,250 54.5% 1.6%
 Total est. # of children  Child has directly affected parent   Child has indirectly affected parent    Total children with affected parents  % of all children 
Children with at least one affected parent  1,840,623 448,403 182,364 630,766 34.3%

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Appendix Table A5

Count and share of workers in New York state who would benefit from increasing the state minimum wage to $15 by 2021, by industry

Directly affected Indirectly affected Total affected
Industry  Estimated workforce  Share of workforce  Directly affected Share of category  Indirectly affected Share of category Total affected Share of category Share of the total affected population
Total 8,635,791 100.0% 2,415,033 28.0% 747,313 8.7% 3,162,345 36.6% 100.0%
Total private (for profit and non-profit) 7,225,358 83.7% 2,262,565 31.3% 659,728 9.1% 2,922,292 40.4% 92.4%
1 All retail trade 962,791 11.1% 451,951 46.9% 103,245 10.7% 555,196 57.7% 17.6%
2 Restaurants 537,054 6.2% 394,543 73.5% 32,725 6.1% 427,268 79.6% 13.5%
3 Home-based and residential care, social assistance, and child care 866,865 10.0% 311,535 35.9% 108,353 12.5% 419,888 48.4% 13.3%
4 Local government 854,552 9.9% 109,633 12.8% 62,429 7.3% 172,063 20.1% 5.4%
5 Educational services 450,370 5.2% 100,934 22.4% 36,587 8.1% 137,521 30.5% 4.3%
6 Finance, insurance, and real estate 694,087 8.0% 87,662 12.6% 47,253 6.8% 134,915 19.4% 4.3%
7 Construction 393,121 4.6% 97,087 24.7% 37,387 9.5% 134,474 34.2% 4.3%
8 Transportation, warehouses, and utilities 316,086 3.7% 91,091 28.8% 35,267 11.2% 126,358 40.0% 4.0%
9 Personal services 127,722 1.5% 65,318 19.9% 36,788 11.2% 102,107 79.9% 3.2%
10 Durable manufacturing 328,884 3.8% 94,424 73.9% 6,637 5.2% 101,061 30.7% 3.2%
11 Professional, science, and management services 603,172 7.0% 61,513 10.2% 34,602 5.7% 96,116 15.9% 3.0%
12 Administrative services and waste management 179,776 2.1% 53,587 12.6% 34,870 8.2% 88,457 49.2% 2.8%
13 Hospitals 425,325 4.9% 65,521 36.4% 22,856 12.7% 88,378 20.8% 2.8%
14 Arts, entertainment, and recreation 162,759 1.9% 59,136 36.3% 13,890 8.5% 73,026 44.9% 2.3%
15 State government 402,426 4.7% 42,835 10.6% 25,156 6.3% 67,990 16.9% 2.2%
16 Wholesale trade 198,816 2.3% 44,075 22.2% 20,737 10.4% 64,812 32.6% 2.0%
17 Nondurable manufacturing 175,348 2.0% 44,958 25.6% 16,546 9.4% 61,504 35.1% 1.9%
18 Other services 119,227 1.4% 45,684 38.3% 11,422 9.6% 57,106 47.9% 1.8%
19 Information 261,935 3.0% 34,548 13.2% 18,215 7.0% 52,763 20.1% 1.7%
20 Accommodation 90,493 1.0% 39,704 43.9% 7,867 8.7% 47,572 52.6% 1.5%
21 Building services 76,335 0.9% 34,255 44.9% 7,506 9.8% 41,760 54.7% 1.3%
22 Food manufacturing 56,340 0.7% 22,010 39.1% 6,057 10.7% 28,067 49.8% 0.9%
23 Religious organizations 52,230 0.6% 18,421 35.3% 4,790 9.2% 23,210 44.4% 0.7%
24 Civic, social, and advocacy organizations 69,799 0.8% 14,920 21.4% 7,515 10.8% 22,435 32.1% 0.7%
25 Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 33,943 0.4% 17,156 50.5% 3,300 9.7% 20,456 60.3% 0.6%
26 Employment services 42,879 0.5% 12,532 29.2% 5,312 12.4% 17,844 41.6% 0.6%
Top 10 by count affected 5,531,532 64.1% 1,804,178 32.6% 506,672 9.2% 2,310,850 41.8% 74.1%

Note: All industry categories are mutually exclusive.

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Appendix Table A6

Count and share of New York City workers who would benefit from increasing the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2018 and indexing it to inflation, by industry

Directly affected Indirectly affected Total affected
Industry  Estimated workforce  Share of workforce in NYC  Directly affected Share of category  Indirectly affected Share of category Total affected Share of category Share of the total affected population in NYC
Total (all industries)  4,147,178 100.0%  1,144,905 27.6% 298,377 7.2%  1,443,282 34.8% 100.0%
Total private (for profit & non-profit) 3,529,173 85.1% 1,083,065 30.7% 262,363 7.4% 1,345,428 38.1% 93.2%
1 All retail trade 392,858 9.5% 182,932 46.6% 35,832 9.1% 218,764 55.7% 15.2%
2 Restaurants 265,837 6.4% 197,445 74.3% 14,001 5.3% 211,446 79.5% 14.7%
3 Home-based and residential care, social assistance, and child care 412,987 10.0% 163,214 39.5% 42,670 10.3% 205,884 49.9% 14.3%
4 Local government 433,540 10.5% 50,058 11.5% 30,300 7.0% 80,358 18.5% 5.6%
5 Transportation, warehouses, and utilities 166,229 4.0% 56,628 34.1% 17,453 10.5% 74,080 44.6% 5.1%
6 Finance, insurance, and real estate 432,523 10.4% 48,707 11.3% 20,748 4.8% 69,456 16.1% 4.8%
7 Construction 197,034 4.8% 54,641 27.7% 14,745 7.5% 69,386 35.2% 4.8%
8 Educational services 207,770 5.0% 46,007 22.1% 14,341 6.9% 60,347 29.0% 4.2%
9 Personal services 68,937 1.7% 52,412 76.0% 3,053 4.4% 55,465 80.5% 3.8%
10 Professional, science, and management services 375,872 9.1% 33,840 9.0% 18,778 5.0% 52,618 14.0% 3.6%
11 Administrative services and waste management 84,672 2.0% 30,766 36.3% 9,447 11.2% 40,213 47.5% 2.8%
12 Hospitals 206,355 5.0% 18,301 8.9% 15,880 7.7% 34,181 16.6% 2.4%
13 Information 174,653 4.2% 20,705 11.9% 10,938 6.3% 31,643 18.1% 2.2%
14 Arts, entertainment, and recreation 84,920 2.0% 24,557 28.9% 5,372 6.3% 29,929 35.2% 2.1%
15 Wholesale trade 82,291 2.0% 21,776 26.5% 7,495 9.1% 29,272 35.6% 2.0%
16 Other services 56,453 1.4% 24,374 43.2% 4,071 7.2% 28,445 50.4% 2.0%
17 Nondurable manufacturing 65,054 1.6% 20,938 32.2% 6,152 9.5% 27,090 41.6% 1.9%
18 Durable manufacturing 53,106 1.3% 18,073 34.0% 4,798 9.0% 22,870 43.1% 1.6%
19 Accommodation 54,478 1.3% 18,882 34.7% 3,846 7.1% 22,728 41.7% 1.6%
20 Building services 44,183 1.1% 17,852 40.4% 4,030 9.1% 21,883 49.5% 1.5%
21 State government 105,623 2.5% 11,782 11.2% 5,714 5.4% 17,495 16.6% 1.2%
22 Food manufacturing 19,340 0.5% 11,479 59.4% 1,054 5.4% 12,533 64.8% 0.9%
23 Employment services 23,991 0.6% 6,005 25.0% 3,187 13.3% 9,192 38.3% 0.6%
24 Religious organizations 19,552 0.5% 7,014 35.9% 952 4.9% 7,967 40.7% 0.6%
25 Civic, social, and advocacy organizations 37,268 0.9% 4,913 13.2% 3,187 8.6% 8,100 21.7% 0.6%
26 Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 2,812 0.1% 1,604 57.0% 334 11.9% 1,937 68.9% 0.1%
Top 10 by count affected  2,953,588 71.2% 885,884 30.0% 211,921 7.2%  1,097,805 37.2% 76.1%

Note: All industry categories are mutually exclusive.

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Appendix Table A7

Count and share of New York workers outside New York City who would benefit from increasing the state minimum wage to $15 by 2021, by industry

Directly affected Indirectly affected Total affected
Industry  Estimated workforce  Share of workforce outside of NYC  Directly affected Share of category  Indirectly affected Share of category Total affected Share of category Share of the total affected population outside NYC
Total (all industries)  4,488,613 100.0%  1,270,128 28.3% 448,935 10.0%  1,719,064 38.3% 100.0%
Total private (for profit and non-profit) 3,696,185 82.3% 1,179,500 31.9% 397,364 10.8% 1,576,864 42.7% 91.7%
1 All retail trade 569,934 12.7% 269,018 47.2% 67,413 11.8% 336,432 59.0% 19.6%
2 Restaurants 271,217 6.0% 197,099 72.7% 18,724 6.9% 215,823 79.6% 12.6%
3 Home-based and residential care, social assistance, and child care 453,878 10.1% 148,321 32.7% 65,683 14.5% 214,004 47.2% 12.4%
4 Local government 421,011 9.4% 59,575 14.2% 32,129 7.6% 91,704 21.8% 5.3%
5 Durable manufacturing 275,778 6.1% 47,245 17.1% 31,991 11.6% 79,236 28.7% 4.6%
6 Educational services 242,600 5.4% 54,927 22.6% 22,247 9.2% 77,173 31.8% 4.5%
7 Finance, insurance, and real estate 261,565 5.8% 38,954 14.9% 26,505 10.1% 65,460 25.0% 3.8%
8 Construction 196,087 4.4% 42,447 21.6% 22,642 11.5% 65,089 33.2% 3.8%
9 Hospitals 218,970 4.9% 35,286 16.1% 18,991 8.7% 54,277 24.8% 3.2%
10 Transportation, warehouses, and utilities 149,856 3.3% 34,464 23.0% 17,814 11.9% 52,278 34.9% 3.0%
11 State government 296,803 6.6% 31,053 10.5% 19,442 6.6% 50,495 17.0% 2.9%
12 Administrative services and waste management 95,105 2.1% 34,755 36.5% 13,409 14.1% 48,165 50.6% 2.8%
13 Personal services 58,785 1.3% 42,012 71.5% 3,584 6.1% 45,596 77.6% 2.7%
14 Professional, science, and management services 227,300 5.1% 27,673 12.2% 15,824 7.0% 43,497 19.1% 2.5%
15 Arts, entertainment, and recreation 77,840 1.7% 34,579 44.4% 8,518 10.9% 43,097 55.4% 2.5%
16 Wholesale trade 116,525 2.6% 22,298 19.1% 13,242 11.4% 35,540 30.5% 2.1%
17 Nondurable manufacturing 110,294 2.5% 24,020 21.8% 10,394 9.4% 34,414 31.2% 2.0%
18 Other services 62,774 1.4% 21,310 33.9% 7,351 11.7% 28,661 45.7% 1.7%
19 Accommodation 36,015 0.8% 20,823 57.8% 4,021 11.2% 24,844 69.0% 1.4%
20 Information 87,282 1.9% 13,843 15.9% 7,277 8.3% 21,120 24.2% 1.2%
21 Building services 32,152 0.7% 16,402 51.0% 3,475 10.8% 19,878 61.8% 1.2%
22 Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 31,131 0.7% 15,552 50.0% 2,967 9.5% 18,519 59.5% 1.1%
23 Food manufacturing 37,001 0.8% 10,531 28.5% 5,003 13.5% 15,534 42.0% 0.9%
24 Religious organizations 32,678 0.7% 11,406 34.9% 3,837 11.7% 15,244 46.6% 0.9%
25 Civic, social, and advocacy organizations 32,532 0.7% 10,007 30.8% 4,328 13.3% 14,335 44.1% 0.8%
26 Employment services 18,889 0.4% 6,527 34.6% 2,125 11.3% 8,652 45.8% 0.5%
Top 10 by count affected 3,060,895 68.2% 927,336 30.3% 324,138 10.6% 1,251,474 40.9% 72.8%

Note: All industry categories are mutually exclusive.

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014

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Appendix B: Technical documentation and methodology

EPI’s minimum-wage simulation model relies on 2014 data from the American Community Survey (ACS) published by the U.S. Census Bureau, and harmonized by Ruggles et al. (2015) at the Minnesota Population Center. The ACS is the largest annual survey conducted by the Census Bureau, interviewing more than 2.3 million households throughout the United States. The survey measures a host of demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the U.S. population, and was created to replace the long-form version of the decennial census.

The large size of the ACS sample makes it ideal for studying state and sub-state areas. In addition, because the ACS is the only major public statistical survey containing information on individuals’ place of work—as opposed to simply recording respondents’ place of residence—it is ideal for assessing changes in labor policy. However, the ACS only records workers’ annual income and wages. Therefore, to study the effects of changes in hourly wages, we must first impute hourly wage information for all workers in the sample using their reported annual wage income, usual hours of work per week, and weeks worked in the previous year. One further complication is that the ACS asks respondents to record the number of weeks they worked in the previous 12 months by selecting one of several intervals (e.g., 1–13 weeks, 14–26 weeks, 50–52 weeks, etc.). Thus, in order to impute an hourly wage, we must first construct a discrete value for respondents’ weeks worked in the previous year. To do this, we use the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS-ASEC), which does include information on workers’ discrete weeks worked in the previous calendar year. Using linear regression, we estimate how various demographic, work, and economic variables vary with respondents’ weeks worked per year, utilizing separate regression models for each interval. We then apply the regression coefficients from those models to the ACS data to predict workers’ discrete weeks worked in the previous year.

We estimate respondents’ hourly wage by dividing their annual wage income by their usual hours of work per week, multiplied by their predicted weeks worked in the previous year. This imputation process is not ideal, as imputing hourly wages in this way compounds measurement error in the three variables used to derive hourly wages. Indeed, imputed hourly wages fall below the statutory minimum wage for roughly 10 percent of the ACS worker sample. However, the ACS is the only publicly available data set with the adequate sample size and place of work information needed to conduct this type of analysis.

We restrict the ACS sample to individuals age 16 and older, who are currently employed and for whom imputed wage values are greater than $0.93 or less than $185. In all calculations of workers affected by increases in the minimum wage, we exclude all observations with imputed hourly wages less than 50 percent of the statutory minimum wage prior to the simulated increase.

Prior to the simulation in this analysis, we adjust wage values to reflect the increase in New York’s state minimum wage to $9.00, which occurred on December 31, 2015. Observations with imputed hourly wages below $9.00 are increased in proportion to the change in the minimum wage. For example, if an observation has an imputed hourly wage of $8.80 in 2014, when the state minimum wage was $8.75, their hourly wage is adjusted to equal ($8.80/$8.75) x $9.00 = $9.05. In addition, we assume natural nominal wage growth prior to the first increase equal to the rate of nominal average wage growth for workers in the bottom 20 percent of the hourly wage distribution for New York, prorated for the number of months between the midpoint of the sample period and the month prior to the first simulated increase in the state minimum wage.

We also assume population growth between the data period and the proposed first increase. ACS person weights are adjusted by the projected annual New York state population growth rate from 2015 to 2020, as estimated by the Cornell Population Center, of 0.154 percent (Cornell University 2011). This annual growth rate is prorated by the number of months that occur between the midpoint of the data and the month that the first proposed minimum-wage increase would occur.

Having made these adjustments, “directly affected” workers are identified as those workers with hourly wages between 50 percent of the statutory minimum wage prior to the proposed increase, and the proposed minimum wage applicable in the worker’s jurisdiction of work (i.e., within New York City or elsewhere in the state). We identify “indirectly affected” workers as those workers whose wages are greater than or equal to the proposed new minimum wage, but less than 115 percent of the dollar value of the proposed increase—hereafter referred to as the “indirectly affected cutoff.” This cutoff point is chosen to reflect the findings of Dube, Giuliano, and Leonard (2015), which observed minimum-wage spillover or “ripple” effects for workers earning 15 percent above newly implemented minimum wages. For example, for an increase from $9.00 to $9.75, directly affected workers have a wage between $4.50 and $9.74. Indirectly affected workers would be those workers with wages between $9.75, inclusive, and $11.21, exclusive. The indirectly affected cutoff in this case would be $11.21.

After each step, if an individual is predicted to be either directly or indirectly affected, her wage is adjusted to reflect her implied raise. For directly affected workers with hourly wages of at least 90 percent of the statutory minimum wage prior to the simulated increase, their raise is equal to the greater of: 1) the difference between the new minimum wage and their existing wage; or 2) one-quarter of the difference between their existing wage and the indirectly affected cutoff. We allow for these two possibilities because we believe it is likely that workers close to, yet still below, the new minimum wage prior to the increase will receive a larger raise than simply an increase to the new minimum. For example, if a worker was earning $9.70 per hour prior to an increase in the minimum wage from $9.00 to $9.75, it stands to reason that her employer will give her more than a $0.05 raise, particularly if lower-paid colleagues are receiving raises as large as $0.75. For workers earning between 50 percent and 89 percent of the minimum wage prior to the increase, they are given a raise proportional to the increase in the minimum. For example, a worker earning 75 percent of the minimum wage prior to the increase would receive a raise that brought her to 75 percent of the new minimum wage.

For all indirectly affected workers, their raise is modeled as one-fourth of the difference between their existing wage and the indirectly affected cutoff. For example, an indirectly affected worker previously earning $10.00 in the above scenario would receive a raise of 0.25 x ($11.21-$10.00), or $0.30.

Having counted these directly and indirectly affected workers, the program iterates to the next proposed increase. Again, weights are adjusted to reflect the predicted population growth between the first and second increments in the proposed minimum-wage increase. Wage values are again adjusted to reflect natural nominal wage growth; however, all workers who received a raise as a result of the higher minimum wage are given only 50 percent of the assumed natural nominal wage growth applied to all other observations. The same method for identifying directly and indirectly affected workers is applied, and the counts are recorded. The model iterates in this fashion for all remaining steps.

Two additional controls are applied throughout the simulation. First, workers in occupations that customarily receive tips as the majority of their earnings are coded with hourly wage values equal to the applicable subminimum wage for tipped workers, or “tipped minimum wage.” We make this adjustment so that reported changes in wage values reflect changes in the wages required to be paid by employers or tipped staff. See Allegretto and Cooper (2014) for more information on tipped minimum wages, and the occupations that are considered tipped occupations. In New York, the tipped minimum wage is equal to 83 percent of the full minimum wage; thus in all steps, workers in tipped occupations are set to 83 percent of the applicable minimum wage in each step. Second, because state legislatures have no jurisdiction over federal employees, federal government workers are excluded from the directly and indirectly affected groups throughout this analysis. However, federal government employees are included in counts of the total workforce.

Finally, no controls are made in this analysis for workers already scheduled to receive a raise as a result of the fast food wage order or the governor’s executive order to raise wages for state employees. The fast food wage order applies to “chain” fast food restaurants, defined as those with at least 30 locations nationwide. The New York Fast Food Wage board estimated that 62 percent of fast food workers in the state were in chain locations; however, the data used in this study do not allow for us to identify chain versus non-chain employees. With roughly 213,000 fast food workers in the state and an estimated 62 percent in “chain” restaurants, this means that we may be overestimating the population likely to be affected by a statewide minimum-wage increase, independent of the fast food wage order, by roughly 132,000 workers. Additionally, we estimate that roughly 67,000 state employees would likely receive a raise under a statewide minimum-wage increase, independent of the governor’s executive order. Consequently, the results may overstate the total affected workforce resulting from a statewide minimum-wage increase by as much as 199,000 workers, or roughly 6.3 percent of the total.

Endnotes

1. Author’s calculations using New York State Budget Office Projections for the state CPI, 2014–2021, and data from the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator (Gould, Cooke, and Kimball 2015).

2. See Cooper (2015c) or National Employment Law Project (forthcoming 2016).

3. Author’s calculations using the CPI-U-RS

4. Author’s calculations using the CPI-U-RS, Regional Price Parity (RPP) data from Bureau of Economic Analysis (2015), and New York State Budget Office projections for the state CPI 2014–2016. Such an adjustment would not be appropriate if New York prices were equally high, relative to the national average, in 1970. However, data on housing costs from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that that is very likely not the case. Housing costs are the largest driver of regional price differences. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that from 1970 to 2010, median gross rents rose by 78 percent in constant dollars nationally (author’s calculations using data from U.S. Census Bureau 2014 and American FactFinder). However, in New York state, median gross rents rose by 89 percent in constant dollars over the same period, indicating that overall prices in New York have almost certainly grown more rapidly than the national average.

5. One indication of the trend where the average worker has not been benefitting from the growth in the state’s economy is that, from 2001 to 2013, business profits per worker in New York state increased by 61 percent, while labor compensation per worker rose by only 34 percent, about the same as the increase in consumer prices over that period (Fiscal Policy Institute 2015).

6. Author’s analysis of American Community Survey microdata, 2014.

7. For information on all state and local minimum-wage levels, see http://www.epi.org/minimum-wage-tracker/.

8. This figure includes workers in fast food, although most will receive wage increases as a result of the Fast Food Wage Board order. The wage order applies to “chain” fast food restaurants, defined as those with at least 30 locations nationwide. The wage board estimated that 62 percent of fast food workers in the state were in chain locations; however, the data used in this study do not allow for us to identify chain versus non-chain employees. Consequently, we do not control for those workers in fast food who will already receive wage increases. With roughly 213,000 fast food workers in the state and an estimated 62 percent in “chain” restaurants, this means we may be overestimating the population likely to be affected by a statewide minimum-wage increase, independent of the fast food wage order, by roughly 132,000 workers (4 percent of the total affected population). We also do not control for the governor’s executive order raising pay for state employees, as the exact timeframe for these increases has not been specified. An estimated 67,000 state employees would be affected in the proposed increase in this study.

9. Fiscal Policy Institute (2014), 102.

10. Family income measures a smaller unit than household income, as households can contain multiple coresident families.

11. See Dietz (2014) and Jacobsen and Mather (2011). According to the latter, the share of young adults 25–34 who are married fell from 55 percent in 2000 to 46 percent in 2011, and the number living at home rose from 4.7 million in 2007 to 5.9 million in 2011.

12. According to BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, the 90th percentile hourly wage in 2014 was $12.57 among the 81,000 home health care workers within New York’s ambulatory care industry.

References

Allegretto, Sylvia, and David Cooper. 2014. Twenty-Three Years and Still Waiting for Change. Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #379.

Allegretto, Sylvia, Marc Doussard, Dave Graham-Squire, Ken Jacobs, Dan Thompson, and Jeremy Thompson. 2013. Fast Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast Food Industry. U.C. Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

American Community Survey. Various years. U.S. Census Bureau data set.

Bureau of Economic Analysis (U.S. Department of Commerce). 2015. Real Personal Income for States and Metropolitan Areas. Regional Price Parities [data tables].

Bivens, Josh, Elise Gould, Lawrence Mishel, and Heidi Shierholz. 2014. Raising America’s Pay: Why It’s Our Central Economic Policy Challenge. Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper No. 378.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor) Occupational Employment Statistics program. Various years. Current Occupational Employment and Wages [economic news release].

Cooper, David. 2015a. Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $12 by 2020 Would Lift Wages for 35 Million American Workers. Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #405.

Cooper, David. 2015b. “A $12 Minimum Wage Would Bring the United States in Line with International Peers.” Working Economics (Economic Policy Institute blog), May 6.

Cooper, David. 2015c. “Testimony before the New York State Department of Labor Fast Food Wage Board.” Testimony delivered June 22 in Albany, N.Y.

Cooper, David, John Schmitt, and Lawrence Mishel. 2015. We Can Afford a $12.00 Federal Minimum Wage in 2020. Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper #398.

Cornell University. 2011. New York State Projection Data by County. Program on Applied Demographics.

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