More than 360,000 jobs could vanish.
What Would a $15 Minimum Wage Mean for North Carolina?
Across the country, the battle for a
$15 minimum wage has been raging in various states and cities. But there is
also an effort underway to hike the federal minimum wage. Sen. Bernie Sanders’
measure, the Pay Workers a Living Wage Act, seeks to incrementally increase the
minimum wage nationwide from $7.25 to $15 per hour over the next four years.
And while North Carolina’s elected
political leaders are largely pro-business, minimum wage proponents aim to push
the issue wherever possible. NBC News reported recently that the National
Employment Law Project (NELP) Action Fund hopes to use competitive U.S. Senate
races—such as those in Arizona, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—to mobilize voters who support a minimum wage hike
in order to have a better chance of passing one in 2017.
Just how much would a $15 minimum
wage impact North Carolina? The consequences are serious. According to a recent
Heritage Foundation report, raising the minimum
wage to $15 per hour in North Carolina would lead to the loss of 367,000 state
jobs by 2021. The wage increase would apply to 40.5 percent of wage and salary
workers in the state, and many employers would have to choose between layoffs,
reduced hours, or potentially even closing up shop.
The report also notes that starting
the nation’s base wage at $15 would mean full-time employees would have to
create at least $38,700 in value for their employers. Therefore, less
experienced and less skilled workers could have a harder time finding jobs and
the proposal ultimately hurts the very people it’s intended to help.