It's Your Money: Provision for teenage seasonal workers

Posted at: 03/27/2013 12:00 AM
Updated at: 03/27/2013 1:12 AM
By: Lynette Adams

Did you know you, as a taxpayer, will be paying to raise the minimum wage?

In the New York State Budget there is a provision that gives money back to businesses who hire teenage seasonal workers.

We are just about five days away from the budget deadline of April 1.

The measure to raise the minimum wage includes a reimbursement credit for employers. Businesses that hire seasonal workers who are 16 to 19 years-old and attending school would get a tax credit. But the Fiscal Policy Institute, a public policy research group, says this could be problematic, putting the jobs of older workers at risk.

News10NBC asked one local teen if she was able to find a job for the summer.

“No not at all. I've applied to a whole bunch of places, me and my friends, and no one's ever contacted us back to even give us a shot,” said Alexandra Candelaria.

Candalaria and her friends have been pounding the pavement, trying to find summer jobs. But with no experience, this 18 year-old says it's been tough.

A provision tied to the minimum wage increase could change things.

“I think this will be a really good thing for teenagers to find a job, even if it's just for a few months. It will help them out a lot,” said Candalaria.

News10NBC wanted to know if this gives teens an unfair advantage over older workers.

“We're very concerned about idle youth in the middle of their 18th year who can't find employment. We just raised the minimum wage, so some employers may not be willing to hire them. This credit for seasonal work, which is primarily the kinds of jobs at Seabreeze, jobs in the park, jobs in retail, Wegmans, those kinds of things,” said State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle.

Morelle says this incentive is responsible and he says it solves a number of concerns.

“I think the public generally supports this move and in overwhelming numbers,” said Morelle.

The Fiscal Policy Institute says when the minimum wage goes to $9 an hour the incentive will mean taxpayers will end up paying for about two-thirds of that raise or about $1.35 in cases where businesses hire teens for seasonal work. But again, Morelle says this is only for a small number of people, 16 to 19 year-olds who are attending school.