- Last Updated: 12:47 AM, April 24, 2012
- Posted: April 24, 2012
A federal report last week had some grim news about New York’s jobless numbers: They’re up over last year.
The question is: Do New York pols — both in the city and statewide — care?
Sure doesn’t seem that way.
Rather, they seem intent on pleasing their union paymasters — by passing a number of measures sure to make the unemployment rate here even worse.
Indeed, the US Department of Labor noted that the rate fell in the last year in every state — except New York; here, it rose from 8 percent to 8.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the state Labor Department reported city unemployment at a painful 10.2 percent.
The Bronx, in particular, hit an alarming 14.1 percent — the highest level in 19 years, the highest in the state and just shy of the record 14.2 percent set in 1992.
What are New York’s leaders doing about it?
Looking to kill more jobs and throw more folks out of work, of course.
Just yesterday, for example, Gov. Cuomo reiterated his “support” — in principle — for a hike in the minimum-wage rate.
“In concept, I support a wage [hike],” Cuomo said. “The question is how much, at what time and then what is politically feasible — what could you actually get passed. And that’s what we’re working through right now.”
Cuomo was referring to a proposal in the Legislature to bump the rate from the current $7.25 an hour to $8.50.
Yet, asking employers to pay more for workers isn’t likely to get them to boost hiring; quite the opposite.
As numerous studies show, minimum-wage hikes discourage hiring, particularly for those at the bottom end of the income ladder.
Meanwhile, The Bronx’s jobless rate has been astronomical ever since the City Council in 2009 nixed a plan to refurbish the Kingsbridge Armory, which could have brought 2,200 jobs and $300 million in investment — because the developer declined to guarantee an economically impossible “living wage” of at least $10 an hour.
At the time, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz famously quipped that “the notion that any job is better than no job no longer applies.”
He got what he wanted: no jobs.
Yet now, the City Council is about to do to all five boroughs what it did three years ago to The Bronx: thwart development, and jobs, city-wide by forcing companies that get large city subsidies to pay the high rates — $11.50 an hour, or $10 plus benefits — via what’s known as the “living wage” bill.
Mayor Bloomberg promises to veto what he rightly terms a job-killer. But the council apparently has the votes to override.
It sure is a scary time for New York’s job-seekers.Follow @NYPostOpinion