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July 10, 2019

CBO: $15 Minimum Wage Would Kill Millions of Jobs

Meanwhile, House Democrats plan to vote on legislation raising the minimum wage to $15.

The Congressional Budget Office released its latest report on the estimated economic impact of a federally mandated $15-per-hour minimum wage and — surprise! — it’s not pretty. The report states, “About 1.3 million workers who would otherwise be employed would be jobless in an average week in 2023. That decrease would account for 0.8 percent of all workers and 7 percent of directly affected workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour.” But that’s the rosy end of the picture, as the report further notes that upwards of 3.7 million Americans could find themselves out of a job. This would essentially wipe out nearly half of the jobs gains under President Donald Trump.

And once again, those most negatively affected by a $15 minimum wage are the poorest and least-skilled American workers. Or, as The Wall Street Journal puts it, “As many as three people would lose their jobs for each person no longer in poverty.” How exactly does that equation lead to fewer Americans in poverty? On top of this, total real income would see a decrease of an estimated $9 billion. This negative impact would be felt throughout the economy.

Predictably, the Journal reports, “Democrats have responded to CBO’s wage warning by ignoring it.” House Democrats back in January introduced the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, a bill that would mandate the implementation of a $15 minimum wage by 2024, which is expected to be voted on later this month. Fortunately, the Republican-controlled Senate would likely not dare take up such an obviously economically crippling piece of legislation.

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