D.C. Minimum Wage Hikes Forces Layoffs, Reduced Hours

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Lawmakers in the nation’s capital approved a measure raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour on Tuesday.

However, the District of Columbia has raised its minimum wage from $8.25 to $11.50 since 2014 and to the surprise of nobody but leftists, the increase is decimating jobs.

The wage hike has caused nearly half of DC employers to lay off workers or reduce employee hours, according to a recent Employment Policies Institute report.

From Washington Free Beacon:

“In recent months, the City Council in D.C. has considered enacting a number of new labor mandates, including a higher minimum wage, a bill that would fine employers for schedule changes, and a family leave policy funded by a tax on employers,” the report says.

The institute surveyed 100 employers in Washington, D.C. to understand how they would react to a further minimum wage hike.

“Employers affected by the proposed increase to a $15 minimum wage were asked if they had either reduced the number of employees on their staff, or reduced the hours of current employees, to adapt to recently enacted minimum wage increases,” the report says. “Nearly half of employers surveyed had already taken one of these steps—suggesting that 2014-16 minimum wage increases haven’t been absorbed through higher prices alone.”

According to the report, just over half of the businesses surveyed said they planned to raise prices in order to offset the cost of a minimum wage hike. Thirty-five percent said they would likely reduce staffing levels and 37 percent said they would reduce employees’ hours or reduce the number of hours they were open for business. Thirty-one percent of businesses said they were very likely to hire more skilled workers in the future to offset the higher wage.

One in five businesses said they would move out of the District of Columbia and into Arlington, Virginia where the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Sixteen percent of businesses surveyed said they were somewhat likely to close their business if the minimum wage hike were implemented and 6 percent of businesses said they would likely close.

“These results are consistent with the best and most recent published research on the minimum wage, which finds that past increases (at lower proposed wage levels) have reduced employment for younger and less-educated employees,” the report states.

Without understanding the intricacies of economics, it would appear that Democrats want to raise the wage out of compassion, and are just intent on giving more money to struggling employees.

Republicans, who constantly tout complicated economic responses for not raising the wage, give the impression of being indifferent about helping the poor.

But the facts remain. Mandating a $15 an hour minimum wage is causing jobs to evaporate.

Jobs flow to lower cost areas, and Democrats are well are of this economic reality, which is why the are pushing to raise the national minimum wage.

If the national minimum wage were increased, liberal areas (like NY or DC) could raise their wages and take away the incentive of businesses to flow to more conservative states or cities with lower wage mandates.

Next thing you know, any purchasing power gained by the higher minimum wage will be lost to the inflation it caused. Low-skilled employees will then be protesting for $20, then $25 and so on.

A national minimum wage increase will ultimately leave employers with the option of replacing low skilled workers with machines or serving $20 cups of bland coffee.

Businesses are the job creators and government should not get in the way of markets.



Alicia Powe

About Alicia Powe

Alicia Powe has written for numerous outlets, including Human Events, Media Research Center, Townhall, Daily Surge and YoungCons. She worked in the War Room of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and served as a White House Intern during the George W. Bush administration. Alicia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is a New York, NY native and currently resides in Washington, D.C. Follow Alicia on Twitter @Alicia_Powe

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