NYC's minimum wage increase may lead to a business exodus

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Five million workers will get a raise on January 1 when new minimum wage requirements take effect in 20 states and almost two dozen cities around the U.S.

The state's minimum wage is $8.46 an hour as of Tuesday, up from $8.25 an hour in 2018, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The hourly minimum wage for tipped employees will be $4.55 per hour effective January 1, 2019, half the minimum wage for non-tipped employees.

Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal think tank based in Cleveland, calculates that the new minimum wage will be worth about 72 percent of what the federal minimum wage was worth in 1968.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour hasn't gone up in a decade.

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Advocates say the trend toward higher minimum wages began in 2012, when the "Fight for $15" national movement began protesting for higher wages for fast food, child care and airline workers, among other businesses.

OH is one of 18 states adjusting wages in 2019.

In May, researchers at the University of Washington determined that Seattle's initial increase to $11 an hour had an insignificant effect on employment, but that the hike to $13 an hour resulted in "a large drop in employment".

"Another New Year comes with another mandated wage increase in New York City that small businesses will have to figure out how to manage", said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, summing up sentiment among many of his fellow members in the service sectors.

Alaska is raising its minimum hourly wage only five cents, from $9.84 to $9.89.

"Working people are struggling to pay their bills, but they see that it's the corporations and the wealthy CEOs who are getting the tax breaks", Owens said. A local ordinance raised the minimum wage to as much as $11 an hour in 2015, then as much as $13 in 2016, depending on the size of the employer and whether it provided health insurance. It took another year for voters to raise the statewide minimum wage. Businesses may place a higher value on experienced workers, making it more challenging for entry-level employees to find jobs.