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MINIMUM WAGE State spins higher costs

New York state employers are bracing for another increase in the minimum wage. Starting Dec. 31, the rate increases from $11.10 to $11.80 per hour — a 6.3% hike.

Since upstate and downstate are so drastically different, it is tough to gauge the impact of the increase. In some locations, jobs have been cut by the annual rise for the rate. Other locations have struggled.

Overall, however, the state spin is positive. “There is no definitive evidence to date that the positive impact the state’s rising minimum wage has had on the incomes of low-wage workers has been associated with any significant loss of jobs,” wrote Robert Mujica, state budget director, in a report required before the minimum wage can increase further. “Although the economic forecast is not without risks, the current outlook for continued growth in employment and wages at a moderate pace should allow the state labor market to absorb the minimum wage increases scheduled for 2020.”

Chautauqua County borders Pennsylvania, where the minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour — $4 less than what New York pays. That is an eye-opener to any business when considering between the two.

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