Many small businesses can't afford to hire unskilled or inexperienced labor at $15 an hour.
NFIB’s New Jersey State Director, Laurie Ehlbeck, testifies against a $15 minimum wage bill
TRENTON, Dec. 6, 2018 – NFIB, the leading small business association in New Jersey, testified today against a bill sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin that raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour. NFIB represents thousands of small business members in the state.
“Many small businesses simply cannot afford to hire inexperienced or unskilled workers at a rate of $15 per hour, especially in the retail, food service, and lodging sectors,” said Laurie Ehlbeck, state director of NFIB in New Jersey. “The business owner may not be able to raise prices because customers won’t pay more. In turn, the employer is forced to reduce hours or eliminate jobs. Even with exemptions in the bill for seasonal workers, farm workers, and a training wage, you can’t change the nature of the marketplace and what people will pay for a product.”
“If there isn’t enough coming into the business to cover the added labor costs, those lower-level jobs disappear, added Ehlbeck. “An October study of the Seattle situation showed that is just what can happen. As a result, it’s much harder for those at the very bottom of the pay scale to ever find work. That’s not good for employers or employees, and it’s not good for New Jersey’s which has already lagged behind economically.”