A recent editorial re-printed in The Sentinel (opinion page, June 14) that called for an increase in the state’s minimum wage conveniently ignores the unintended consequences of government mandated hikes to entry-level wages.
The editorial cites a report from an organized labor-funded group that aggressively advocates for anti-business policies. We’d suggest considering a recent analysis by the nonpartisan state Independent Fiscal Office, which found that a $12 hourly rate — as proposed by the Wolf administration — would result in the loss of 34,000 jobs. A Congressional Budget Office report concluded that increasing to $10.10 would result in the loss of 500,000 jobs nationwide, possibly up to 1 million.
Another recent study from the University of Washington found that Seattle’s minimum wage increase actually led to a reduction in average take-home pay for low-wage workers. Certainly some individuals benefit from mandated wage increases; but as Seattle shows, others are hurt — including some of the very people advocates want to help.
The editorial describes advocates “making the case that Pennsylvanians can’t afford to live, much less raise a family” on minimum wage. We agree. Their argument falls apart, however, when the state reports that most minimum wage earners are young, have no children and don’t live in poverty.
Policymakers and advocates ought to pursue policies that target support to low-income families without risking jobs.
Director of Government Affairs
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry