NYC Businesses Struggle to Keep Up After Minimum Wage Increase


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More than six months after the $15 minimum wage went into effect in New York City, business leaders and owners say the increased labor costs have forced them to cut staff, eliminate work shifts and raise prices.

Many business owners said these changes were unintended consequences of the new minimum wage, which took effect at the beginning of the year.

In June, the city’s unemployment rate was 4.3%, compared with the state’s unemployment rate of 4%, according to the New York State Department of Labor. Both numbers have remained relatively steady during the past year.

New York City’s minimum wage has increased three times for employers with at least 11 employees in the past three years. At the end of 2016, the hourly rate rose to $11 from $9 an hour. In 2018, the minimum wage jumped to $13 from $11 an hour. The rate will increase to $15 an hour for employers with 10 or fewer workers at the end of 2019.

The current federally mandated minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Other states have passed $15-minimum-wage legislation, including Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut.



  1. “Many business owners said these changes were unintended consequences of the new minimum wage, which took effect at the beginning of the year.”

    This is hilarious. Basic economics. That’s the thing with natural consequences of stupid ideas, they don’t need to be intended.

  2. A perfect example of how the rise in minimum raise hurt those it was supposed to be helping. In NYC there is a program called Youth Corps. This program helps NYC youths ages 14 -21 find employment during the months of July and August. These youths can apply for jobs through various city agencies. (Torah Umesorah is one of the agencies) In past years almost anyone that applied got a job. The benefits are many, they gain working experience, earn money, and of course are off the streets. This year NYC raised the minimum wage to 15 dollars and Youth corps was drastically reduced. First of all, 14 and 15-year-olds were cut out of the working program. Many youths over 16 didn’t get jobs. Then there are many day-camps and other summer programs who in the past didn’t pay staff who got Youth Corps. This year they have to pay so they raised tuitions or cut back on other programs. A day camp director told me he may not be able to open next year because of the increase in wages. There is only so much he can charge tuition. Mr. Liberal, exactly how are you helping people? $15 an hour is a good sound bite until it bites you.

  3. the new rental laws recently enacted, have already 2 people I know. 1 a super in a building was let go and given 30 days to move out of his apartment. the apartment is now a rental and an outside company was hired to clean the building several times a week and to field requests for repairs, which will now take a lot longer to get done. the other, a janitorial supplies, who now has had clients reduce the frequency of deliveries as they are cutting down the frequency of their cleaning.