Minimum Wage: Once again, another city self-righteously imposes a minimum-wage hike on private employers. And once again, it finds out it's a business- and job-killer — and only boosts pay for a handful of people. This time it's the Big Apple, New York, that's discovering the ugly truth. But don't feel left out: Your town may be next.
In "Minimum-Wage Boost Squeezes New York City Restaurants," the Wall Street Journal notes that restaurants "are being pinched" by the increase in the minimum from $9 an hour to $11 an hour at the start of this year. Sure, that doesn't sound like much, but it's in fact a 22% increase on restaurants' most basic employee costs.
And guess what? $11 an hour becomes $13 an hour at the end of this year, another 18% rise.
"In the five months since the $11 hourly wage took effect," the Journal said, "several well-known restaurants have closed or announced plans to do so." And more closures are on the way.
It's true that, as minimum-wage proponents claim, New York is unlikely to suffer horribly from recent minimum-wage hikes. With the boom on Wall Street in recent years, the restaurant industry right now is mostly doing fine.
Moreover, wages in New York are already high, so the actual impact will be limited in terms of the number of employees affected. Prized workers at many restaurants often make much more than the minimum calls for.
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