New York made history on Thursday by becoming the first U.S. state to set minimum wage to the highest it’s ever been at $15 an hour for its fast food workers.


Governor Andrew Cuomo announces $15 minimum wage for fast food employees

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hopes to raise minimum wage for the whole state to $15 per hour. (Yahoo! News)

The proposal was approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo, but he wants to take it further and attempt to increase minimum wage to $15 for all New York employees. Vice President Joe Biden was present for Cuomo’s wage increase announcement at a New York City labor rally. During the rally, Biden showed his support for the minimum wage hike, and believes that other states will follow the Governor’s lead.         


“You’re going to make every single governor in every single state in America look at themselves,” said Biden. “It’s going to have a profound impact.”


Living Wage calculator map


Should other states feel the need to increase their minimum wage? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a map they call the “Living Wage Calculator.” This calculator tracks the minimum wage of U.S. counties and shows how much a person needs to make to produce a living wage. According to the map, there are almost no counties in the United States that offer a minimum wage greater than or equal to the cost of living in their area. Some Americans need to make over $20 an hour to afford living in their county, which is much higher than any minimum wage offered throughout the United States.           


The Economist calculated that minimum wage in the United States should be at least $12 an hour, based on the wages set in other wealthy countries. Biden has stated that he and President Barack Obama are pushing to change the federal minimum from $7.25 to $12 an hour. If Cuomo can successfully change his state’s minimum wage for all employees to $15, other states may feel pressured into making a major change to wages as well.        


Will other states follow in New York’s footsteps? Should the federal minimum wage get an increase? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.