The Foolish Arguments For a $15 Minimum Wage

In 2014, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated, based on a review of 60 studies, that a $10.10 federal minimum wage would cost 500,000 jobs nationally. Economists from Miami University and Trinity University replicated the CBO’s methodology for a proposed $12 federal minimum wage and estimated 770,000 jobs would be lost nationally as a result.

Bizarrely, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has ignored this data and decided that a $15 minimum wage is a good idea. A bill introduced today would raise the federal minimum wage by 107 percent from $7.25 while raising the tipped minimum wage by 604 percent.

A 2015 University of New Hampshire survey found that nearly three-quarters of surveyed US labor economists were opposed to a $15 minimum wage. The vast majority of the economists responded that a $15 minimum wage would have negative effects on youth employment levels, adult employment levels, and the number of jobs available. Even former members of the Obama and Clinton administrations have also spoken about the risks to job opportunities from a broad $15 mandate.

EPI has been chronicling the stories of job loss, reduced hours, and business closures in places that are already experimenting with such wage mandates on our site