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Economists: $15 wage would help 3 million New Yorkers

Annette Bernhardt, Wikipedia

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A new study by economists at the University of California-Berkeley predicts that raising New York state's minimum wage to $15 would improve the living standards of more than 3 million people, far outweighing what the report calls a "small" negative effect on employment.

The report estimates that raising the now $9-per-hour wage to $15 would give the average effected worker $4,900 more annually. They concede that higher labor costs could slow job growth, but expect that to be tempered by benefits including increased spending in local economies, higher productivity and less reliance on government assistance.

The $15 minimum wage idea comes from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who wants to phase in the increase to help businesses adjust.

Business owners say the increase will force them to raise prices and cut positions.