RICHMOND, Jan. 28, 2014–Nicole Riley, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, released the following statement today in response to a plan to raise Virginia’s minimum wage:
“Small-business owners are disappointed by efforts by some in the General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage.
“The fact of the matter is that raising the minimum wage inevitably hurts young people, first-time workers and those with no or limited skills. However well intentioned, it hurts the people it’s supposed to help.
“Writing in The Wall Street Journal shortly before the federal minimum increased to $7.25 an hour, University of California-Irvine economist David Neumark said: ‘Despite a few exceptions that are tirelessly [and selectively] cited by advocates of a higher minimum wage, the bulk of the evidence — from scores of studies, using data mainly from the U.S., but also from many other countries — clearly shows that minimum wages reduce employment of young, low-skilled people.’
“Of course, what he and other researchers have found through their research is what small-business owners have learned from experience:
“When you have to pay more for labor, you can’t afford to hire as many people.
“Employers want to offer good wages and benefits. When the government forces new mandates on them, it removes the flexibility they need to design compensation packages that work best for their individual situations.
“If we want to turn our economy around and put Virginians back to work, let’s not smother our entrepreneurs with new costly mandates and higher labor costs.”
NFIB/Virginia is the commonwealth’s leading small-business association, with 5,400 dues-paying small-business members representing a cross section of Virginia’s economy.