Minimum Wage Battle Sets Sights on Georgia

Date: May 17, 2016 Last Edit: May 18, 2016

Here’s a refresher on the danger of these job-killing proposals.

Minimum Wage Battle Sets Sights on Georgia

After New York and California approved $15
minimum wage rates, proponents have begun targeting new battleground states,
and Georgia is one of them. But the good news for small businesses in the Peach
State is that any such increase is not likely to pass anytime soon.

However, in advance of the loud arguments that
will be made by minimum wage increase advocates, it’s worth taking a look at
the impact of these proposals, as well as the actual numbers on the current
minimum wage situation.

Current Statistics

 Backers of a minimum wage hike will talk about
how the current minimum wage is a crisis for workers, but according to data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the situation is not quite so dire:

  • 96 percent of all hourly paid
    workers in the United States already earn more than the minimum wage.
  • Only about 2 percent of the
    American workforce earns the minimum wage.
  • The number of minimum wage workers
    has declined by 70 percent since 1979.
  • The vast majority of workers who
    earn the minimum wage get a raise within a year.

 Job-Killing Proposals

What is dire, however, is the economic
impact of minimum wage increases. Take Seattle, for example, which made history
by passing the highest minimum wage rate in the nation ($15 per hour) in 2014
and has since paid for it with job losses. According to December 2015 data from
the BLS, since Seattle’s minimum wage hike took effect in April 2015, more than
11,000 jobs have been lost, the number of unemployed workers has risen by
nearly 5,000, and the city’s unemployment rate has increased by more than 1
percentage point.

Ultimately, the minimum wage is a small business
issue. Big corporations do not have to worry about the cost of minimum wage
increases because most minimum wage jobs are offered by small businesses, which
are the least able to absorb such dramatic spikes in labor costs. When faced
with significant cost increases, a small business owner can either raise
prices, thereby reducing demand, or lay off workers, hurting the very people
that a wage hike was intended to help.

 For more information on the impact of minimum
wage hikes, visit

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