August Jobs: Bad Public Policy Threatens Progress

Minimum wage hikes, NLRB ruling are storm clouds over gains

September 5, 2014

(ATLANTA, GA) – Another tepid month of job creation arrived today under storm clouds of bad public policy – anemic job growth likely to be wiped out by Washington, according to the chief executives of Job Creators Network.

“In just the last week, Washington and Big Labor organizers again declared their plans to hike the cost of hiring by calling for a steep minimum wage increase,” Anthony & Co. chief executive Jim Anthony said. “And in a shocking move, the National Labor Relations Board announced plans to upend the franchise business model and pave the way to unionize hundreds of thousands of small businesses.”

The report released this morning by the U.S. Department of Labor showed the August unemployment rate at 6.1 percent and the labor force participation rate still languishing at 62.8 percent. If the labor force looked more like 2008 and before, the unemployment rate would actually be 10.7 percent. Millions of Americans have dropped out of the workforce and are no longer counted.

According to Anthony, who is a member of Job Creators Network, the price of these bad ideas will swiftly undo the recent, meager job growth gains.

“Chances are your local McDonald’s is run by a franchisee who is a local entrepreneur, the type of person who creates most of the new jobs in this country,” Anthony said. “Even mediocre jobs reports like this one will become less likely if Washington hangs the pro-union NLRB bureaucracy around the necks of the small businesses making most of our progress.”

The August jobs report fell in line with the plodding results of the last two months, providing a small tick down in the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent for August. The July report showed a 0.1 percentage point increase in unemployment, while the June report reflected a 0.2 percentage point decrease.

“The government’s own experts say the President’s $10 minimum wage proposal will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs, and this $15 proposal would wipe out far more,” Anthony said. “These storm clouds are certain to wash out employment gains. Bad public policy always hurts good people, and we can’t hike the cost of hiring and pretend it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

President Barack Obama used the Labor Day holiday to promote raising the minimum wage to $10.10, while recent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office predicts this would wipe out work for 500,000 Americans. Thursday, union leader-inspired demonstrators picketing outside fast-food franchises called for a $15 minimum wage.