The Port Authority that oversees LaGuardia, the John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty international airports is considering a proposal that would raise the minimum wage for 40,000 low wage workers at regional airports to $19 per hour by 2023. If passed, it will create the highest publicly mandated minimum wage in the nation and will deeply impact local communities. An economic stimulus is projected in the communities where workers live. Their increased household spending is projected to increase economic output by over $465 million in 2023 and every year thereafter, creating 2,700 new jobs.
Creating a $15 minimum wage at U.S. airports will provide transformative economic benefits for low-paid air transportation employees who work 24-7 in a fast-paced, noisy environment, providing essential services for airlines and the traveling public. The $15 wage will also generate job growth in businesses where airport workers spend their wages, lift many out of poverty, reduce dependence on public assistance, and boost tax revenues that pay for crucial government services.
Many runway jobs of baggage and cargo handlers and cabin cleaners at Los Angeles International Airport have been outsourced to labor contractors, resulting in reduced wages and benefits for workers. For a small, incremental cost passed along to passengers, meaningful improvement can be made in the standard of living and health benefits of LAX airside workers, which will spark significant sales and tax multiplier effects for the Los Angeles region.