Minimun Wage Law Costs Florida Jobs

Posted on February 06, 2011

A Florida district court will soon consider a lawsuit filed by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), which accuses the state of failing to raise the minimum wage in 2011 (“Florida sued over minimum wage,” Jan. 11).

Legal distinctions aside, a more important question to ask is whether there’s ever a good time to artificially increase wages.

New research from Dr. Joseph Sabia, a labor economist at West Point, finds that each 10 percent increase in a state’s minimum wage decreases teen employment by as much as 3.6 percent. It also shows that past increases in the minimum wage have had a negative effect on the output of certain industries that employ these less-experienced employees.

With a teen unemployment rate that still tops 30 percent, Florida needs policies to create entry-level jobs — not destroy them.

Michael Saltsman,
Research Fellow
Employment Policies Institute
Washington, DC