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Fast Food Employment in NYC Has Risen 87 Percent, While Wages Dropped

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Employment and revenue are up, but wages are down.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

As the state's Wage Board considers raising the minimum wage for fast food workers, more information about the fast food industry and how it would be impacted is coming to light. Research that will be presented to the Wage Board today from the National Employment Law Project says that employment in the fast food sector in the city grew 87 percent from 2000 to 2014. That growth helped translate into profits of $9.3 billion for the state's biggest fast food companies last year, a 14.5 percent increase since 2010. But, wages for fast food employees dropped by 3.6 percent during those years.

The Wage Board has three months to make their recommendations to Governor Andrew Cuomo. If the board recommends a $15 minimum wage, 72 percent of fast food restaurant owners said that they would be "very likely" to raise prices at their stores to compensate for the change. But a researcher for the NELP argues that increase would likely be "modest."

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