The $15 mistake

Posted on May 03, 2016

The Baltimore Sun editorial board is right that a $15 wage hike, “is not a decision to be taken lightly” (“A $15 minimum wage? Not so fast,” May 1). In fact, a majority of experts believe it’s a decision that shouldn’t be made at all. The University of New Hampshire Survey Center conducted a survey of U.S. labor economists last year regarding their opinions on this topic and found that nearly three-quarters opposed a broad $15 mandate.

Even left-of-center economists who support more moderate wage hikes, including economists from the Obama and Clinton administrations, have declined to endorse a $15 wage requirement. One of those economists, Georgetown’s Harry Holzer, offered criticism of $15 that’s uniquely relevant to Baltimore: “In job markets where young or less-educated workers already have difficulty finding jobs and gaining important work experience, such mandates will likely make it much harder.”