Press ReleaseJuly 8, 2019

CBO Warns Federal $15 Minimum Wage Will Cost Up to 3.7 Million Jobs Nationwide

Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2019)—Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report estimating the economic consequences of adopting a federal $15 minimum wage—a policy that is expected to be considered this month in the form of the Raise the Wage Act. The CBO report predicts that up to 3.7 million jobs will be lost as a result of increasing the government-mandated wage floor to $15 an hour. Moreover, the policy will reduce family income adjusted for inflation by $9 billion (although some workers will be paid more, other jobs will be lost and business revenue reduced).

Instead of pursuing a $15 minimum wage that will reduce employment opportunities and real family income, lawmakers should be fighting for $50,000 careers by addressing the skills gap. Currently, there are more than 7 million open positions in the U.S. that need skilled workers to fill them. Equipping America’s labor force with the required skills to take-on these positions will help boost wages more than a government mandate ever could.

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Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of the Job Creators Network, released the following statement:

The latest CBO report confirms what we already know to be true: broadly raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will reduce employment opportunities and is bad for business. The consequences will be especially brutal for small businesses, which already operate within razor-thin budget margins. House Democrats—who are expected to consider federal $15 minimum wage legislation this month—should take into account Monday’s report and pursue policies that will push wages up without hurting the economy. One avenue is to ramp up workforce development initiatives—which have already been launched by the Trump administration—so that Americans can be equipped with the necessary skills to fill one of the millions of high-paying jobs already available.