HARRISBURG, March 24, 2014 – A handful of bills have been
introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature to raise the state’s current $7.25
minimum wage. Advocates claim that will help to bring people out of
poverty. But a reliable
economic model used in an NFIB study released today finds that minimum wage
increases in Pennsylvania will actually hurt those they are intended to help by
eliminating entry level jobs in the Commonwealth.
The National Federation of
Independent Business Research Foundation report projects the effect that three
Pennsylvania minimum wage bills will have on jobs and economic activity in our
state. The findings forecast the loss of as many as 28,000 to 119,000 jobs over
a ten year period when the wage is increased to $8.75 or $9.00, as those
increases are tied to cost-of-living adjustments. The report uses a widely accepted
regional economic model that is also used by the federal government, local
governments and universities created by REMI, Inc. (see www.remi.com).
Earlier this year a Congressional Budget Office report on raising the
national minimum wage to $10.10 projected 500,000 job losses in the U.S.
“The NFIB study shows that
more than half of the jobs would disappear from the small-business sector in
Pennsylvania,” said Kevin Shivers executive state director of NFIB Pa., “While
minimum wage hikes are intended to help those below the poverty level, they
will do just the opposite.
“Small-business owners will
ultimately hire a more skilled employee rather than pay someone with no skills
and no experience higher wages. Unlike corporations, small businesses operate
on a slim profit margin and tough decisions will have to be made.
“The actual costs of a
minimum wage increase will be higher for small businesses because employees who
make over the minimum won’t want to be paid the same as a co-worker with less
experience, so the full pay scale is likely to be adjusted” said Shivers.
small-business owners are likely to cut hours and reduce hiring. It will become
even harder for the unemployed or teenagers to find an entry level job.
Companies may invest in technology to replace low level jobs. Business owners
may also be forced to raise prices which will negatively affect all consumers,
especially the poor. The
sectors most affected by a minimum wage increase are restaurants, service
businesses and those in the amusement industry.
A 2012 report from the
Bureau of Labor Statistics shows people under age 25 fill just over half of the
minimum wage jobs and their average household income is about $66,000 a year.
Of those over 25, 75% have household incomes above the poverty level. Only 16%
of minimum wage workers are sole income earners with dependents.
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