There is little mystery about the economic impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hours, and President Obama and like-minded liberals want. The latest Duke University survey of CFOs tells the stark tale of how business will respond. Here are a couple of key facts from the news release.
Few affected firms would lay off current employees if the minimum wage is increased to $8.75 but 46 percent would lay off employees at $15.
• Future employment growth would be curtailed at 35 percent of affected firms if the wage were set at $8.75, while two-thirds would curtail future hiring at $15.
• Nearly 20 percent of affected firms would reduce employee benefits or increase product prices if the minimum wage were increased to $8.75; approximately half would do both at $15.
• About 30 percent of affected companies think their ability to attract higher quality workers and reduce turnover would improve if the minimum wage were increased to $10, while about 40 percent feel the same at $15.
• In general, firms indicate they could reasonably accommodate a modest hike in the minimum wage to $8.75 but substantial negative consequences would kick in as the wage approaches $10.
• An ongoing shift away from labor and towards machinery will accelerate if the minimum wage is increased.