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The Public Cost of Low Wages in New York

January 25, 2016

This report outlines the public cost of New York's Minimum wage. Over the next several years New York State will raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 per hour; Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now pushing for legislation to extend this to New York workers in all industries. The governor also recently committed to pay all state government workers $15 an hour.The Labor Center's report on the public cost of jobs paying less than $15 per hour in New York echoes the findings of earlier Labor Center research examining the fiscal impacts of low-wage work in the fast-food and retail sectors, including bank tellers and Wal-Mart employees, and in individual states. Report highlights for the study include:Of all New York workers paid less than $15 an hour, 52 percent received public assistance or had a family member enrolled in a safety net program.Of all New York workers, 32 percent earned less than $15 an hour.Eighteen percent of workers in New York earned less than $15 an hour and had at least one family member, including themselves, receiving public assistance such as food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, or cash assistance programs.Approximately 26 percent of state and local assistance funds in New York went to help low-wage workers.

The Impact of Oakland's Proposed City Minimum Wage Law: A Prospective Study

June 16, 2014

The Lift Up Oakland Coalition, an alliance of community, labor, small business, and faith organizations, has placed an initiative on the Oakland November 2014 ballot that would establish a minimum wage of $12.25 for businesses in the city starting March 1, 2015. This study examines the effects of a $12.25 minimum wage on Oakland workers and businesses. Drawing on a variety of government data sources, we estimate that more than a quarter of the Oakland workforce would benefit from the proposed policy, with the average worker earning an additional $2,700 a year. Our analysis of the existing economic research literature suggests that businesses will adjust to modest increases in operating costs through reduced employee turnover costs, improved work performance, and a small, one-time increase in restaurant prices.

Realizing Health Reform's Potential: Will the Affordable Care Act Make Health Insurance Affordable?

April 27, 2011

Examines the percentage of low-income families, by income, family structure, and out-of-pocket healthcare costs, unable to afford insurance even with the premium and cost-sharing subsidies provided under the 2010 reform. Explores implications.