This bill would increase the state minimum wage to $8.50/hr. on January 1, 2013 and automatically increase it each year by indexing it to the consumer price index. The Business Council opposes its enactment.
Significant increases in payroll, benefit and insurance costs
Category / Additional Cost
Current Annual Costs at $7.25/hr.
1/1/13 @ $8.50/hr.
New Annual Cost on 1/1/13
New Cost 1/1/14 w/ 3% indexing
New Cost 1/1/15 w/ 3% indexing
Direct payroll cost
Together, these generate an additional cost of $2908 or 17.2% per employee the very first year. The chart also shows that indexing will push costs up continually every year thereafter.
Employers paying the current minimum wage to full time employees will face additional costs of over $2900 per employee the first year if this minimum wage bill becomes law, without any increases in productivity to offset it.
For employers who currently pay the current minimum wage of $7.25/hr., this bill involves a direct increase in wage costs of $2600 or 17.2% on January 1, 2013. In addition, Social Security taxes (6.2% of wages) will rise a corresponding 17.2% or $162, as will Medicare taxes (1.45% of wages) of $38 because both are directly applied to the wages of the employee.
Likewise, Workers' Compensation premiums will directly reflect the 17.2% wage increase required by this bill. For example, a retail department store employee classification carries a premium of $4.13 per $100 of payroll per year. At the current minimum wage of $7.25/hr., the annual workers' compensation premium is $622 while at a minimum wage of $8.50/hr., the annual premium would rise to $730, an increase of $108.
Reduction in entry level training opportunities
A predictable response to these increased costs generated by the mandated minimum wage increase is to reduce the number of current and future minimum wage jobs that the business supports. This, in turn, reduces the current and future number of entry level and training opportunities for those with the least skill and experience, whom the proponents of a higher minimum wage purport to help.
The bottom line
From the October 2008 Cornell/American University minimum wage study authored by Richard Burkhauser from Cornell and Joseph Sabia from American University, “The Effects of Minimum Wage Increases in New York State: Evidence from a Natural Experiment”, came conclusions that by raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75 (this occurred from 1/1/05 to 12/31/06), employment of less educated 16 to 29 year olds fell by 12.2%. In addition, the report projected that raising the minimum wage from $7.15 to $8.25 would result in the loss of 28,990 jobs including 7,031 poor workers.
Businesses in New York State cannot create new jobs and maintain existing jobs, particularly entry level and lesser skilled positions, if the cost of creating and maintaining them continues to rise due to state and federal mandates such as increases in minimum wage.
The Business Council believes that the way to improve our state's economy and the lives of all New Yorkers is to create more private-sector jobs. Raising the minimum wage would only hurt New York's tourism industry, small businesses, farms and not-for-profits that are struggling to make their current payrolls, and reduce job opportunities, in this difficult economy.
For these reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and respectfully urges that this bill not be enacted.