More than 500 economists—including three Nobel laureates—told Congress this week that President Obama’s proposal to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour is a job killer.
They explain in a letter how it could threaten the fragile economic recovery and destroy jobs. Economists who signed the letter include Nobel laureates Eugene Fama, Edward Prescott, and Vernon Smith.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that raising the federal minimum wage that high would likely kill 500,000 jobs by 2016.
When politicians attempt to control prices, they make hiring low-skill workers too expensive. Employing people at a net loss to a company defeats the purpose of hiring them and jeopardizes the survivability prospects of a business if it happens for long.
If the minimum wage were raised $10.10 per hour, it would actually cost employers $12.71 per hour to employ a full-time minimum wage worker when the Obamacare employer mandate, unemployment insurance, and employer payroll taxes are figured in. Full-time, unskilled workers who produce less than $12.71 per hour in revenue for their employers will struggle to find work.
President Obama declared in a December 2013 speech, “Now, we all know the arguments that have been used against a higher minimum wage. Some say it actually hurts low-wage workers—businesses will be less likely to hire them. But there’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs, and research shows it raises incomes for low-wage workers and boosts short-term economic growth.”
To correct President Obama: There is solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs, and over 500 economists agree that raising the cost of labor would be a drag on already lethargic economic growth.