Increase in minimum wage will hurt workers

Editor’s note: Brett Healy, president of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, released the following statement after Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine), Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie), Sen. Nikiya Harris (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Eric Gengrich (D-Green Bay) announced support for a $10.10 minimum wage.

It is not surprising that politicians have once again ignored the facts in the minimum wage debate. It is, after all, an election year and politicians will say anything to get re-elected. The facts are clear. Raising the minimum wage will hurt the exact individuals supporters claim it will help. Raising the minimum wage will lead to fewer opportunities for workers at the starting point in their careers.

The MacIver Institute’s research shows that raising the minimum wage will increase unemployment, leading more individuals to rely on government assistance.

Since 2002 the minimum wage in Wisconsin has increased from $5.15 per hour to the current $7.25 per hour; meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Wisconsin teens has increased from 15.5 to 19.8, an increase of 27.7 percent over the decade. The higher you artificially inflate the minimum wage, the higher the unemployment rate for young workers.

Small businesses will not be able to pay the artificially inflated wages and will have to reduce the amount of people they employ and reduce the number of hours worked for the few employees still on payroll.

The call for a higher minimum wage is nothing more than a stunt.

The MacIver Institute previously released the following report that shows 7,109 fewer teenagers are working in Wisconsin today due to increases in minimum wage since 2005: www.maciverinstitute.com/2012/07/MinWag.

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