CBO Report Examines Minimum-Wage-Increase Effect on Employment
Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 in three steps could reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers (about 0.3 percent) by the second half of 2016, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released Feb. 18, 2014.
“As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger,” the CBO said. “There is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1 million workers.”
The CBO also analyzed a more modest proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9 by 2016 without subsequent raises adjusted for inflation; it estimated that this could result in the loss of 100,000 jobs, or 0.1 percent of the current workforce. “There is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight increase in employment and a reduction in employment of 200,000 workers,” the CBO said.
Under the $10.10 proposal, the federal minimum wage would rise from $7.25 per hour to $8.20 on July 1, 2014, to $9.15 in 2015 and to $10.10 in 2016, adjusted annually thereafter for inflation.
Under the $9 proposal, the federal minimum wage would rise from $7.25 to $8.10 on July 1, 2015, and to $9 on July 1, 2016.