Skip to Content

$15 minimum wage may increase fast food prices and New York City residents are ok with that

US-LABOR-WAGE-FAST-FOODUS-LABOR-WAGE-FAST-FOOD
Fast-food workers support an increase of the fast food workers minimum wage in New York in May 2014.Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND AFP/Getty Images

When New York State’s wage board approved a $15 per hour minimum wage for fast food workers last month, there was worry that the increase would spike consumer prices. A study released last week estimated that a higher wage would indeed result in a 4.3% increase in fast food prices, and on Thursday a new poll showed that a majority of voters in New York City are A-okay with paying more.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that 73% of voters in New York City support raising the minimum wage for fast food workers earning $15 per hour. Fifty-three percent of Republican respondents oppose the wage and residents on Staten Island are divided 48-47% on the issue, but every other party, gender, age, racial, or borough group supports the wage by wide margins.

A majority of New York City voters—57%—say they would be in favor of paying more for fast food so that workers could earn more. Interestingly enough, the same poll found only 33% of New York City voters consider the quality of life in the city “very good” or “good,” which is the lowest number ever recorded by Quinnipiac.

While the poll revealed support for the $15 minimum wage in New York City, it didn’t measure sentiment throughout the rest of the state. That’s worth noting because the $15 minimum wage applies to all fast food workers in the state (so long as they work for a chain with at least 30 locations), and as research earlier this week revealed, a $15 per hour wage that covers multiple metropolitan areas is not felt equally.