Thirty percent of American businesses warned they will need to reduce their workforce to overcome the $15 minimum wage, according to a survey Wednesday.
Express Employment Professionals asked 390 businesses across the country what they would do in response to the increase. Supporters have pushed the policy as a way to help lower-income workers, but opponents warn it could cause unemployment. The survey found 30 percent of employers expect to reduce employment in response to the policy.
“There’s no doubt it makes for a good talking point, but the real question is whether it makes good economic sense,” Express President Bob Funk said in a statement. “While some workers will see a raise, which is good news, this survey shows that there are clear negative consequences for raising the wage to $15.”
The survey also found more than 37 percent of businesses would increase the price of goods. Additionally only 20 percent reported they would increase wages for those already making above the minimum wage. Workers currently making above the minimum wage would essentially see their wages drop if they are not changed at a rate equal to the increase.
The Fight for $15 and other supporters argue the policy could help lift people out of poverty. Critics counter that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour could actually hurt the very people it’s meant to help by reducing employment opportunities.
Economists generally agree job loss is a potential risk but tend to disagree on how big the impact will be. The National Bureau of Economic Research and The Heritage Foundation found the increase will have a huge impact on employment. The University of California, Berkeley found any losses would be marginal compared to the potential benefits
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found any increase in the minimum wage could result in at least some job loss. New York and California both became the first states Apr. 4 to raise the minimum wages to $15 an hour. Advocates have also seen victories on the city level starting with Seattle in June 2014.
The Fight for $15 did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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