According to a new survey of 197 working economists conducted in February, 74% oppose raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and almost half (43%) think that the federal minimum wage should be eliminated altogether.
The Employment Policies Institute’s survey revealed how hostile the economists were toward raising the federal minimum wage with various findings:
88% of economists thought an acceptable federal minimum wage should be less than $15; 66% agreed that an appropriate federal minimum wage would be $10 an hour or less.
84% thought a $15 minimum wage would negatively affect youth employment; 77% believed that the minimum wage hike would have a negative impact on the number of jobs available.
Additionally, only a tiny percentage of the economists (6%) surveyed thought a $15 minimum wage would efficiently target poverty. 38% of the economists believed that raising the minimum wage would actually increase poverty rates. Conversely, 64% of the economists thought that expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit would very efficiently target poverty and another 34% agreed it would be efficient.
The ineffectiveness and deleterious effects of raising the minimum wage have been demonstrated repeatedly around the nation:
In August 2016, reports surfaced that the raise in the minimum wage had hurt employees in Seattle. The Washington Post wrote, “Although some workers are earning more, fewer of them have a job than would have without an increase. Those who do have a job are working fewer hours than they would have without the wage hike.”
The Washington Examiner added:
The minimum wage hikes resulted in modest declines to their employment rates and hours worked. … The city’s employment rate was 4.3% percent in April 2015 when the $11 rate went into effect. By May of this year, Seattle unemployment had climbed to 4.8%.
Timothy Taylor explained at the Conversable Economist blog:
Low-wage workers in Seattle were better off as a result of the higher minimum wage if they managed to keep their job or to keep working roughly the same number of hours. But the employment rate of low-wage workers in Seattle declined slightly, as did the hours worked, which would lead to lower total earnings. The early evidence from Seattle is that a higher minimum wage at the city level doesn’t raise total earnings by much, because low-skilled workers end up with fewer hours on the job.
Regarding San Francisco, in April 2017, the Harvard Business School released a study that examined restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area between 2008 and 2016 titled, “Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit.” The study posited that a $1 increase in the minimum wage led to a roughly 14% increase in the likelihood of a median 3.5 star restaurant closing. The study concluded that over the next two years, San Francisco’s restaurant industry would shrink, meaning workers would lose jobs.