Concord (May 8, 2014) – The Senate’s rejection today of a plan that would have increased the state’s minimum wage by 24 percent will spare New Hampshire slower job growth and maintains the state’s competitive position, said the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“A 24-percent increase on small employers would have dampened the demand for workers and that’s not good economic policy,” said NFIB New Hampshire State Director Bruce Berke. “We want to increase the demand for labor and we want to expand opportunities for low-skilled workers to break into the workforce and work their way up. This would have accomplished exactly the opposite.”
The Senate today rejected a plan that would have increased the state minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour with an automatic increase every year in perpetuity based on inflation.
“It would have guaranteed that labor costs would go up every year forever regardless of the business conditions,” said Berke. “It would have required employers having tough time to pay more for entry-level labor even if sales are flat. The best and most democratic way to spread prosperity is to let business owners and entrepreneurs know that New Hampshire wants them to invest here and we want them and their employees to succeed.”
The decision today is likely to make New Hampshire more attractive as a place to do business, said Berke.
“It shows serious thinking on the part of our elected officials and that signals stability,” he said. “Other states in the region have already or are planning to increase their labor costs. We will be the beneficiaries.”
Berke said Senate leaders deserve special credit for resisting the political campaign to raise the minimum wage.
“President Obama has been to the region to push for a higher minimum wage and the issue has gotten a lot of national and local attention,” said Berke. “It took real courage to stand up to that and the leaders of the Senate deserve credit.”
Learn more about NFIB at www.nfib.com.