What New York City's Fast Food Minimum Wage Increase Means For Workers

New York City fast food workers are getting a pay raise after the state's wage board approved a new minimum hourly pay of $15, up from $8.75.
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New York City fast food workers are getting a pay raise after the state's wage board approved a new minimum hourly pay of $15, up from $8.75 which would take effect by 2018 and 2021 for the rest of the state. The wage hike applies to fast food workers -- whether at big corporations like McDonald's (MCD) and Burger King or smaller, privately-owned restaurants, not minimum wage employees in retail and other industries. So what does this mean for New York fast food workers? Those who earn the state's minimum wage of $8.75 make $350 during a 40-hour work week, or $18,200 a year. Those totals would jump to $600 for a 40-hour work week, or $31,200 a year. The pay bump would not change workers' tax brackets for 2015. And they'll still be eligible for lower premiums on a Marketplace insurance plan under Obamacare, as individuals who make between $11,670 and $46,680 may qualify. However, those who may qualify for lower premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs for Marketplace insurance are capped at a yearly income of $29,175. The move was driven by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has stressed that raising wages for the lowest-paid workers helps the economy instead of hurting it. In an op-ed piece for the New York Times in May, he wrote, 'More than 600 economists, including seven Nobel Prize laureates, have affirmed the growing consensus that raising wages for the lowest-paid workers doesn't hurt the economy. In fact, by increasing consumer spending and creating jobs, it helps the economy. Studies have shown that every dollar increase for a minimum-wage worker results in $2,800 in new consumer spending by household, and of the 13 states that have increased the minimum wage since 2014, including New York, all but one experienced employment growth.' Gov. Cuomo said that the state's low fast food wages cost taxpayers $700 million a year in public assistance. TheStreet's Brittany Umar has details from New York.