New minimum wage takes bite out of the Big Apple

The fight for a higher minimum wage has gone on for years, bringing with it winners and losers, and has sparked debate among Americans who want to end poverty.

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The idea of a $15 per hour minimum wage was just a pipedream back in 2013 when New York fast food workers walked off the job demanding higher pay. But now, a $15 minimum wage is becoming a reality for millions of workers across the United States.

However, six months after the new wage went into effect in New York City, business leaders and owners are facing the problems associated with it.

Increased labor costs have forced them to raise prices, cut employee work shifts and in some cases, eliminate jobs -- the unintended consequences of the new minimum wage.

Other states have passed $15 minimum wage legislation, including Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut.

In July, FOX Business reported on a situation in Seattle, where a food and beverage company filed for bankruptcy protection, citing higher wages as one of the main causes.

The Wall Street Journal reported on several New York City restaurants where the impact of rising wages has caused owners to cut back on shifts and be more stingy about overtime.


It has also changed one owner's mind about moving the restaurant to a larger location.

“What it really forces you to do is make sure that nobody works more than 40 hours,” Susannah Koteen, the owner of Lido Restaurant in Harlem told the Journal. “You can only cut back so many people before the service starts to suffer.”

In June, the city’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, compared with the state unemployment rate of 4 percent, according to the New York State Department of Labor.