Policy Brief

The Economic Effects of a $21.25 Minimum Wage in New York by 2026


A proposed increase of New York State’s minimum wage to $21.25 by 2026 sounds large, but its level would be comparable to the inflation-adjusted $15 New York City fast food minimum wage that took effect on December 31, 2018, and to the rate of fast food minimum wage increases from $7.25 to $15 over the period December 31, 2013 to December 31, 2018. My recent research on the effects of $15 minimum wages in New York combines state of the art statistical methods with administrative data from all fast-food employers in twenty-two New York counties. Minimum wage increases to $15 substantially raised the pay of low wage workers without creating disemployment effects, both upstate and downstate. I also discuss why these minimum wage increases did not reduce employment and how high minimum wage increases can go.