Strong economy, labor shortage, naturally leading to higher wages and increased state revenue
NFIB, the leading advocate for small businesses with over 12,500 members in Pennsylvania, is pleased with lawmakers for not including Gov. Tom Wolf’s call for a phased-in $15 minimum wage in the 2019-2020 state budget. The surging economy, the number of job vacancies in the state along with rising wages, will naturally lead to a higher paid workforce
“Without government intervention, the marketplace is already producing good, higher-paying jobs, and there are many current openings. All policymakers need to do is make sure low-skilled workers get the needed training to be able to fill those vacancies,” said Gordon Denlinger, state director of NFIB in Pennsylvania. “Already the number of Pennsylvanian’s in the workforce making minimum wage has dropped by half in the last five years, and now only 1.6% of all workers make minimum wage, most of them are young, unmarried, people.”
A recent analysis from Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office on the impact of a $15 minimum wage determined 34,000 entry-level jobs would disappear. That would impact those currently at minimum wage who are likely to lose hours or be out of a job altogether. Such legislation would make it hard for those seeking their first job to find one.
“Teenagers and recently released prisoners, senior citizens seeking supplemental jobs, and many more will have a greater abundance of options if the state doesn’t institute a policy that results in the elimination of entry-level jobs,” added Denlinger. “We applaud state lawmakers who chose a better solution—raising wages by raising skills. Small businesses need qualified job candidates right now, so we look forward to workforce training initiatives that will solve the labor shortage.”