A study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor finds that somewhere between 3.5% and 6.5% of workers in New York earn less than the minimum wage. The study, performed by Eastern Research Group, showed that more than 300,000 New York workers were being paid illegally low wages.
The study used data from the Census Bureau’s current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation and used 2011 data. At that time, New York’s minimum wage was $7.25 per hour.
The study showed that workers in the restaurant and hotel industries were most likely to be paid less than the minimum wage followed by employees in the education, health services, retail and wholesale industries
The study also showed how employers’ failure to pay minimum wage costs taxpayers. New York spent $7.8 million in school lunch subsidies and $33.6 million in food stamps in federal fiscal year 2011 because employees were shortchanged.
Data from the Current Population Survey suggests that 8,000 New York families live below the poverty line due to minimum wage violations.