Would an increase in wages lead to a stronger economy for New Yorkers?
According to a study commissioned by the Economic Development Corporation the answer is no. The study shows that 6,000 to 13,000 low-skilled jobs would be at the risk of elimination if businesses were mandated to increase wages.
The results come as a blow to Bronx Council members, G. Oliver Koppell and Annabel Palma, who introduced The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act last year to require employers who have received government subsidies to provide at least $10, plus benefits for their employees. The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Mayor Bloomberg, who opposes the bill, believes that higher wages would create economics hardships to small business owners and real estate developers.
A spokeswoman for the Mayor said in an e-mail to the Times:
This study shows clearly that while wage mandates may raise income for a few, they also result in significant job losses and reduced private investment for many. We’ll review any proposed legislation when it’s introduced, but this Administration is working to make it easier to create jobs in New York City, not harder.
The bill is being supported by several City Council members and City Comptroller John Liu.
Earlier this year, Council members criticized the Mayor's attempt to block the bill. Councilman Jumaane D. Williams of Brooklyn even flouted, "The administration is so full of it you should consider a high-fiber diet."
The study comes at a crucial time for the city, as recent census reports reveal a shocking 1 in 5 New Yorkers are living in poverty.