This month, 18 more minimum wage increases mandated by cities and states across the country took effect, which the Employment Policies Institute claims “will pose a threat to job opportunities and businesses across the nation.”
The non-profit research organization was formed by industry lobbyist Rick Berman and sponsors academic studies on the impact of such laws and other employment policies. EPI recently released a study by economists from Miami and Trinity Universities which found that when California’s statewide $15 minimum wage is fully phased-in in 2022, roughly 400,000 jobs will be lost.
Additionally, an EPI-sponsored study at Harvard Business School and Mathematica Policy Research analyzed San Francisco’s $15 minimum wage law and found restaurant closures associated with the increase in labor costs.
The nonprofit’s Facesof15.com details more than 100 examples of job loss, reduced hours, and other consequences as a direct result of minimum wage increases. One of the unintended results of minimum wage hikes is the reduction in teen employment opportunities, according to the nonprofit.
“Business owners and employees will face a bummer summer thanks to the consequences of new wage mandates,” EPI’s managing director Michael Saltsman says. “Empirical evidence shows that wage hikes reduce workplace opportunities, either by reducing the number of jobs or by forcing businesses to close.”
The 18 new laws are on top of 37 increases by other jurisdictions that went into effect across the country since the beginning of the year, and more will come, according to HRDive. For example, Massachusetts recently passed legislation increasing its minimum wage and implementing a paid family medical leave plan.
Other research by economists from the University of Washington showed that Seattle’s minimum wage increase from $9.47 to $15 an hour in just a two- to three-year time span would leave the poorest employees working fewer hours and earning less money than before.
“But various skeptics poked holes in that study, despite it being heralded as ‘very credible’ — highlighting the bifurcated nature of the debate overall,” HRDive writes.
However, many employers have been paying more attention to opinion polls than research studies, according to HRDive, citing recent surveys by Adecco and the National Restaurant Association which both found support for wage increases among Americans to be close to 70 percent.