New York’s minimum wage will rise from $8 to $8.75 an hour on Wednesday, giving a boost in pay to some 700,000 workers but potentially costing a loss of jobs as businesses struggle to pay for it.
New York lawmakers approved the increase in 2013 as part of a series of steps to bring the wage to $9 on Dec. 31, 2015.
Some are calling for an even steeper hike in the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. But opponents say another wage hike could backfire by increasing labor costs and prompting employers to cut jobs.
Further increases stalled in the Legislature last year when they ran into opposition from Republicans in the state Senate. The GOP picked up two additional Senate seats in the fall election, but supporters of a higher minimum wage picked up a valuable ally in Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“There’s no doubt we’ll have the debate,” said Ken Pokalsky, vice president at the Business Council of New York State.