Only about 39% of New Yorkers earn at least a living wage, and less than one-third of them are people of color and younger workers, according to researchers at Cornell University.
The information, which they made available in a new digital atlas, shows disparities in earning a living wage by race, ethnicity, gender and location.
What You Need To Know
- Cornell researchers said only about 39% of New Yorkers earn at least a living wage
- They said less than one-third of them are people of color and younger workers
- The researchers said a living wage is a wage that’s sufficient for a full-time worker to meet essential needs for them and their household
“Here, we're trying to provide some useful data that might help to answer the questions of what is the pattern of earning a living wage look like across New York?" said Rusty Weaver, the director of research at the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab. "Who is disproportionately impacted by not earning a living wage or by some living wages?"
The hope is for policymakers and other leaders to more easily understand who earns living wages and where, as well as how jobs rank. It could be especially useful as discussions are held about what the minimum wage should be, along with other economic debates.
Researchers believe the impacts could go even further.
“If you're a high school student or somebody thinking about the workforce and finding a job, that's going to allow you to be able to pay for the costs of living in the area that you live in," Weaver said. "It might be a resource for that, for identifying occupations that tend to pay workers pretty well. It could also, on the other end, be a tool to inspire your co-workers to think about unionization efforts, or look at the wages that are being earned across the industry or occupation that you're working."
They hope to update the data at least once every year.
The researchers are also working on video tutorials to help make the data easier to understand.