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The New York Times: New Minimum Wages in the New Year

The New York Times: New Minimum Wages in the New Year

2 Comment(s) | Posted | by Ian Pajer-Rogers |

The All Night Images/Flickr

From The New York Times Editorial Board:

In five states and nine cities — including California, New York, Oregon and Washington, D.C. — voters and lawmakers will consider proposals in 2016 to gradually raise minimum wages to $15 an hour.

The ballot initiatives and pending legislation will build on momentum from this year, in which 14 states and localities used laws, executive orders and other procedures to lift wages for all or part of their work forces to $15 an hour.

In New York City, for instance, the minimum wage for workers in fast food and state government will rise to $10.50 on New Year’s Eve, and to $15 by the end of 2018. In the rest of New York, the minimum for those workers will reach $15 an hour in mid-2021. In Los Angeles County, including the city of Los Angeles, the minimum wage for most workers will rise to $10.50 by mid-2016 and to $15 by mid-2020. Seattle and San Francisco are also phasing in citywide minimums of $15 an hour, while five other cities — Buffalo and Rochester in New York; Greensboro, N.C.; Missoula, Mont.; and Pittsburgh — are gradually raising their minimums to $15 for city workers.

Minimum-wage raises are examples of states and cities leading in the absence of leadership by Congress, which has kept the federal minimum at $7.25 an hour since 2009. State and local increases are also potent shapers of public perception. It was only three years ago that a walkout by 200 or so fast-food workers in New York City began the Fight for $15, now a nationwide effort to raise pay and support unions. Two years ago SeaTac, Wash., home to an international airport, voted in the nation’s first $15-an-hour minimum for some 6,500 workers in the city, on and off airport property. Since then, $15 an hour has gone from a slogan to a benchmark.

Read the full article from The New York Times Editorial Board.


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  1. Geoff Hubbard's avatar
    Geoff Hubbard
    | Permalink
    While an increase in the minimum wage is good news to low income workers it also means prices will go up as well. As businesses work to recover the extra cost of labor the new minimum wage earners will see their buying power go down as time goes on. And people on fixed incomes won't get a raise. Social Security has announced that since there was no rise in the cost of living in 2015 there will be no rise in Social Security payments in 2016. The elderly will be hardest hit by any increase in prices. It's a dog eat dog world out there. I hope this increasewill do some good.
  2. Erika's avatar
    | Permalink
    Geoff, the idea that prices have to go up is a lie, put out by the very same people who don't want wages to go up. We have had several min wage hikes in the history of our nation and they did not correspond with widespread inflation. Another possibility? Senior management can take just a little bit less. Worse case scenario? One study found the price of a fast food meal could go up $0.18. I would gladly pay an extra $0.18 if I knew that went to the workers getting $15 per hr. Also, there are costs to NOT doing this. Right now, taxpayers subsidize wealthy corporations. If corps do not pay their workers enough to live, many become eligible for public assistance. So, you and I already pay! Let us transfer those costs back to the wealthy employer who incurs them.

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