National Federation of Independent Business members in Louisiana overwhelmingly oppose efforts to raise the state minimum wage.
That's according to the results of the NFIB/Louisiana Member Ballot, which surveyed members of the state's leading small-business association about key issues affecting their businesses and their employees.
Unlike other business groups, NFIB's positions on public policy are based solely on the input of its members.
When asked whether the state minimum wage should be raised so that it's higher than the federal rate, 90.3 percent of members said "no," compared with 5.7 percent who answered "yes" and 4 percent who were undecided.
"The fact of the matter is that raising the minimum wage might be a good way to score some easy political points but it really doesn't help anybody, especially the people it's supposed to help, said Dawn Starns, state director of NFIB/Louisiana.
"Here's the reality: Businesses, especially small businesses, have only so much money. If the government artificially drives up the cost of labor, then employers can't hire as many workers. It's that simple.
"The minimum wage is for workers with few skills and little to no experience," Starns said. "If the cost of labor goes up, employers are going to hire older, more experienced workers.
"They're not going to hire young people just entering the workforce or those without skills or experience," she said.
On other issues:
- 89.1 percent of respondents oppose legislation that would prevent employers from considering an applicant's criminal history until the interview process.
- 83.9 percent oppose legislation to establish a state run retirement plan.
- 63.3 percent support legislation to ban the practice of lawsuit lending.
"On behalf of our members, we're looking forward to working the Legislature and Governor Jindal to find real solutions to the problems facing Louisiana's small, independent businesses in the legislative session that begins Monday," Starns said.
NFIB/Louisiana has over 4,000 dues-paying members representing a cross section of the state's economy.
PHOTO: Jeffrey Schwartz/Wikimedia Commons