With the state poised to make a decision regarding raising the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15, recent statistics show that the number of people employed by fast food restaurants grew 87 percent from 2000 to 2014. And unfortunately, that rise is coupled with a drop in employee wages, even as company profits grew.
According to Crain's, fast food companies earned $9.3 billion in 2014, up about 14.5 percent from what they earned between 2010 and 2014. Wages reportedly went down 3.6 percent.
Supporters of a higher minimum wage say it's a sign that it's time for workers to be paid more, despite concerns by fast food companies that higher wages would force them to charge more for food or cut jobs. "A wage increase for fast-food workers in New York would be long overdue," NELP senior policy researcher Irene Tung told Crain's. "The industry could absorb these costs without digging into their profits."
Governor Cuomo has created a "Wage Board" that will spend the next three months determining whether the minimum wage for fast food workers should be increased to $15.