Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
With the State Assembly later today expected to take up legislation (Assembly Bill A.9148) that would raise New York's minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour, Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) urged rejection of the job-killing mandate, saying it would increase costs for job creators by more than $2,900 per minimum wage earning employee,1 making New York's economy even less competitive.
"Without question, the minimum wage mandate is bad public policy and even worse economics. It will kill jobs, erode competitiveness and damage small businesses that can least afford to absorb higher operating costs," said Kolb, an entrepreneur, former president of Refractron Technologies, co-founder of the North American Filter Corporation, and the only Leader in state government that has started and run successful businesses.
"New York business owners would face an increased cost of over $2,900 per minimum wage employee if today's legislation becomes law. A small business with ten employees would bear almost $30,000 in additional labor costs annually, an astronomical sum to companies working harder than ever just to stay afloat. Frankly, today's consideration of the minimum wage mandate is all about election-year politics and has nothing to do with making our economy stronger or ensuring New York is open for business," Leader Kolb stated.
"The legislation also contains an 'escalator' provision tying automatic future minimum wage hikes to the rate of inflation. This is an escalator to fewer jobs, especially for younger, low-skilled workers. Equally concerning, credible, independent research has pointed to minimum wage hikes increasing the number of poor or near poor families.2 Quite simply, hiking New York's minimum wage is a lose-lose-lose proposition: for workers, job creators and families trying to climb out of poverty," Leader Kolb said.
Leader Kolb recently authored an Op-Ed in the New York Post outlining how raising New York's minimum wage will hurt small businesses and low-skilled workers while imperiling the Empire State's fragile economic recovery.
"Folks pushing the minimum wage mandate have no idea how hard it is to run a successful business in New York, how tough it is to meet a payroll, and how challenging it is to deliver a quality product, while dealing with constant regulatory roadblocks and headaches from Albany. If they did, we would not be voting on this legislation today; we would instead be considering tax credits for businesses and repeal of the job-killing Wage Theft Prevention Act," Leader Kolb stated.
"Even though things may be getting better in New York, better is not good enough. Albany still thinks it 'knows best' and can micromanage the economy, even though most legislators have zero experience running a private sector business. Albany should focus on breaking down regulatory barriers, promoting education and vocational skills development, along with emphasizing high-tech job creation and entrepreneurship to grow New York's 'innovation economy.' These are the steps that will help unemployed New Yorkers find a good job and create lasting prosperity, not Albany-imposed minimum wage mandates," Leader Kolb concluded.
2. "The Effects of Minimum Wages On The Distribution of Family Incomes: A Non-Parametric Analysis," David Neumark, Mark Schweitzer and William Wascher, National Bureau of Economic Research, April 1998, http://www.nber.org/papers/w6536.pdf?new_window=1.