The Field Building Hub is pleased to release the fourth brief in the Monitoring the Minimum Wage series. Drawing upon interviews with nearly two dozen businesses, the brief highlights some of the ways in which businesses are bracing for and adapting to the incremental minimum wage increases that will result in a $15 wage floor for all New York City businesses by the end of 2019.
Throughout the interviews, we were struck by a common refrain that tended to echo this sentiment: I believe increasing the minimum wage is the right thing to do; however, it has and/or will require us to rethink elements, small and large, of our business operations to accommodate the increases. Many of the businesses we spoke with possess strong local roots; though relocation in part or in full outside of the city or even state has been considered by some interviewed, the decision to stay put is informed as much by the heart as by the business ledger. Disruptions attributable to the minimum wage will occur, but New York City’s resilient business community will, on the whole, make the necessary adjustments.
We hope to revisit many of these businesses later in the year, as the prospect of the next minimum wage increase--$13.50 or $15.00, depending on business size—approaches. Workforce providers need to hear these insights, wins, and struggles experienced by local businesses in order to ensure they are preparing job seekers for today’s labor market.
All briefs in the Monitoring the Minimum Wage series, jointly produced by the Field Building Hub at Workforce Professionals Training Institute and the New School Center for New York City Affairs, can be found here.