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Raising the Minimum Wage Will Definitely Cost Jobs




A survey of the economics research shows the likelihood of a substantial reduction in employment if a national $15 minimum wage is passed. David Neumark writes:

A recent Congressional Budget Office report estimated that 1.4 million jobs would be lost if a new $15 federal minimum wage is signed into law. Advocates were quick to dismiss the CBO’s conclusion. “It is not a stretch to say that a new consensus has emerged among economists that minimum wage increases have raised wages without substantial job loss,” said Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute, which has also circulated a letter signed by economics Nobel laureates and others making the same claim.

As I show in a recent extensive survey of research on minimum wages and job loss in the U.S., this is simply not true. Most studies find that a minimum wage reduces employment of low-skilled workers, especially the lowest earners most directly affected by raising the minimum wage.

There are conflicting individual studies of the effects of minimum wages on employment. That there is disagreement shouldn’t be surprising. Economics is a social science, not a natural one. Studies of minimum wages and job loss are not laboratory experiments. They can’t be replicated and so can’t be expected to yield exactly the same results.

[David Neumark, "Raising the Minimum Wage Will Definitely Cost Jobs,” The Wall Street Journal, March 18]


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