EPI managing director: $15 minimum wage discourages job growth

EPI managing director: $15 minimum wage discourages job growth

Photo: Anna Waters via Flickr creative commons.

WASHINGTON- The managing director of a D.C.-based conservative-leaning think tank said Monday that cities and localities that institute a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage are indirectly discouraging job growth.

“They get the equation backwards and decide that they’re gonna try and mandate their way to prosperity,” said Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute.

“I think you wind up having some of these unintended consequences that we’re now seeing play out,” he said in reference to reported job loss in both Seattle and San Fransisco.

Saltsman further referenced a recent study by the Philadelphia-based PFM group that sought to analyze the financial impact of a $15 an hour minimum wage measure recently vetoed by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

The study estimated that the county would lose as many as 47,000 jobs within the next five years had the bill become law.

The Montgomery County Council is now considering a follow-up proposal.

Saltsman said he expects the second measure to fail as well.

“The kind of changes that exist in the second proposal aren’t going to be enough to circumvent a veto this time around,” he predicted.

Proponents of instituting a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage have argued that the current federal minimum of $7.25 is not sufficient to live on and that even jurisdictions that have slightly higher thresholds are still substandard.

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