President-elect Donald Trump has expressed a number of different viewpoints on the federal minimum wage, but discussions over the wage floor continue to take place at the local level. "Much of the debate is not taking place in D.C. anyway," said IFA's Matt Haller. "It is in the states and cities."
Different cities have very different economies, and that impacts their relative ability to handle a $15 minimum wage, writes Noam Scheiber. A $15 minimum is below 60% of the median wage in affluent cities such as New York and San Francisco, but would be above 70% -- and thus more economically risky -- in cities such as Las Vegas and Miami.
Gravity Payments' 120 workers will be paid at least $70,000 a year under a minimum-wage policy announced -- and funded by -- founder Dan Price. "This is more risky than genius. What happens if they grow from 120 to 1,200? Can you still sustain $70,000 for everyone?" asks Tim Sackett, president of IT staffing firm HRU Technical Resources.
As debate grows at the national level on a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, states and municipalities are moving forward with their own increases. SurePayroll President Michael Alter advises restaurants to get ready now by taking several steps to prepare for a wage increase, including understanding what it takes to ensure profitability, making good hiring decisions at the outset and investing in workers to decrease turnover.