Bill McMorris of the Washington Free Beacon reports on a new analysis of Maine’s proposed $12 per hour minimum wage.

A Maine proposal that would create a $12 hourly minimum wage could eliminate nearly 4,000 jobs, according to a forthcoming study.

The Employment Policies Institute, a free market think tank, found that the 60 percent hike would eliminate 3,700 jobs over four years.

“If voters and legislators are interested in the real impact of a dramatic wage hike, they should speak with the retailers and restaurants whose employees will bear the negative impact of these higher labor costs,” EPI research director Michael Saltsman told the Washington Free Beacon.

Activists successfully placed a referendum supporting a $12/hour minimum wage on the ballot for the 2016 election. The state has a $7.50/hour minimum wage on the books now, just above the federal $7.25 hourly minimum.

EPI and researchers from Miami University and Trinity University analyzed the employment prospects in the state using the standards set forth by the Congressional Budget Office review of wage laws. Saltsman said that the referendum’s results would mirror other academic studies, which have found job losses accompanying major spikes in labor costs.

“Decades of research, not to mention business owners’ personal experience, confirm that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs,” Saltsman said.