Two major studies now back the business community on why a
$15 minimum wage could hurt not only employers, but also the very individuals it would be intended to help.
Seattle is in the midst of moving to a $15 minimum wage.
Researchers at the University of Washington
found that the region suffered
3.5 million lost hours
worked per year two dollars early, at the $13 mark. Total payroll for low-wage employees dropped $100 million.
A study from the top-ranked PFM Group
, commissioned by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and paid for by the county, predicted that a $15 minimum wage would kill 47,000 jobs by 2022 in that county alone.
These studies are substantive arguments against both prior and future $15 minimum wage bills in Maryland. Last session, we helped defeat
, which would have increased minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. We also helped stop
, which attempted to speed up the 2014 incremental minimum wage hike to $10.10 per hour by Jan. 1, 2018 and $12.50 by July 1, 2019.
The initial timeline was to reach $10.10 six months later, and did not include a $12.50 provision.
Despite the defeats of these bills in the House Economic Matters and Senate Finance Committees in 2017, we are confident they will return in the 2018 session.
These studies make our case even stronger. In addition to their data, as we all know, a minimum wage increase forces higher required pay for some non-minimum wage workers. It also hikes the price of goods and services. That costs everyone more. Plus, an uptick of this size in the state minimum wage that is not mirrored in the federal wage could push Maryland families off of federal means-tested programs like SNAP, Section 8 housing vouchers, Medicaid and
more – because they would be making too much to qualify.
The goal of a better living should not create that kind of liability for individuals, families, or the state.
Competitiveness suffers, too. Maryland’s minimum wage went to $9.25 per hour as of July 1. Bordering states Pennsylvania and Virginia are at $7.25, which is also the federal minimum wage. That means this is one more way to make it cheaper for businesses to leave Maryland.
We want to hear from you.
Together, we can push back bills that weaken business.