Increasing Minimum Wage Would Impact Employment Posted on April 17, 2013 Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin argued that a 39 percent increase in the federal minimum wage would have no impact on employment (“Minimum wage increase is a necessity,”April 7 guest column). The senator’s claim is at odds with 85 percent of the most credible economic research on the subject from the last three decades. But it’s not just economists who know the senator’s wrong — local Iowa businesses do, too. The 16th Avenue Grill in Cedar Rapids, for instance, told The Gazette that the last federal wage hike forced them to reduce staff. If Iowans want to know the true impact of a government-mandated wage hike, these local businesses offer a far more credible testimony than a senator who’s never met a wage mandate he didn’t like. Michael Saltsman is the research director at the Employment Policies Institute.