Pay hikes hurt workers

Posted on July 29, 2009

In response to a June 23 letter, “EPI front for big biz”: it is often said that people are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts.

Most economists agree with the Employment Policies Institute that the unintended consequences of minimum wage hikes are much worse than the limited help they may provide. Studies show that a majority of minimum-wage workers helped by the increases are living above the poverty level; for example, many are teenagers living at home with working parents.

But minimum-wage hikes do impact vulnerable, low-skilled workers negatively, effectively shutting them out of the job market as employers look to workers with more experience to justify the higher wage.

The writer didn’t get some other facts straight. The EPI is a non-profit organization that provides research on public policy decisions affecting entry-level employment. It does not receive contributions from Berman and Co.

Kristen Lopez Eastlick
Employment Policies InstituteWashington, D.C.