Proposed State Minimum Wage Would Hurt Small Businesses, Consumers

Date: May 03, 2023

Lawmakers want to start at $10 an hour but increase that to $14 by 2028

A bill calling for a state minimum wage failed to clear the House Labor Committee today.

HB 374 would have established a state minimum wage of $10 an hour and climbed to $14 by 2028. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. The Senate version of the bill, SB 149, hasn’t come up for a vote, but NFIB State Director Dawn McVea says the lack of support in the House indicates there is little interest in the Senate.

“It’s hard to find a small business in Louisiana that isn’t already paying well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, but establishing a state minimum wage of $10 an hour would put pressure on employers to boost wages for all hourly workers. If that happens, employers will be forced to make tough choices in order to keep folks employed and make the bottom line work. That will mean cutting positions or cutting hours, hurting the very people proponents claim they are trying to help.

“Louisiana can’t afford that. Inflation continues to take a tremendous toll on Main Street businesses, and small businesses and chain stores alike are struggling to fill vacant positions despite offering higher wages. Small business owners nationwide say labor quality is one of their top concerns, and the workforce participation rate remains well belong pre-pandemic levels. That’s affecting employers’ ability to provide the goods and services customers need.

“Passing a state minimum wage may help this outgoing governor fulfill a campaign promise, but 92% of Louisiana small business owners surveyed say they oppose such a move. Additionally, labor statistics indicate that between 2% and 4.5% of the labor force is impacted by minimum wage which further illustrates why this continued debate is really just a moot point.”

Related Content: Small Business News | Louisiana

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