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Survey: 74% Of Economists Oppose Hiking The Minimum Wage To $15 An Hour

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 New York City, after New York’s Fast Food Wage Board recommended a $15 an hour minimum wage for fast food workers, New York City showed the greatest plunge in restaurant jobs in almost 20 years.

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.

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