March 18, 2015
By Stephanie West
Albany NY – A significant number of Upstate business leaders have announced their support for Governor Cuomo's "Fight for Fair Pay" campaign to raise the state's minimum wage this year. The 44 business leaders join 41 others from Downstate who now represent broad private sector support – including some of New York's most prominent business leaders and an array of small businesses.
Governor Cuomo's proposal seeks to increases the minimum wage from the current $8.75 to proposed $10.50 statewide. New York City workers would get a dollar more.
"As our economy comes back with new jobs and growth, we must do everything we can to ensure all New Yorkers are part of our new economic momentum," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "Raising the minimum wage statewide will give our lowest wage workers a much needed boost, while injecting billions of dollars into local economies across Upstate New York. I thank theses business leaders for recognizing that our proposal to raise the minimum wage will be good for workers and good for business, and look forward to working together to see this increase passed this year."
In total, 1.3 million New Yorkers will experience higher wages as a result of the minimum wage increase, which translates into a $3.4 billion direct economic value statewide – meaning that more New Yorkers will have more money to spend on goods and services in their community. During the last six increases in New York State’s minimum wage, employment subsequently increased in industries with many minimum wage workers.
Labor advocates applaud efforts to raise the minimum wage, but insist that elected officials must continue to press for a more realistic $15 an hour wage and worker protections.