Vermont House of Representatives Should Reject Misguided Minimum Wage Proposal

Economists Agree: A $15 Minimum Wage Would Reduce Job Opportunities
  • Publication Date: February 2017

Washington D.C. – Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) criticized Vermont’s State House of Representative’s proposal for a $15 minimum wage. The Vermont House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs is holding a public hearing Thursday on raising the state’s minimum wage to $15. This push for a minimum wage increase has been proposed by House Democrats who would like to see a state minimum wage of $15 by 2022.


Economists from across the political spectrum say that a $15 minimum wage reduces job opportunities. A study by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found that nearly three-quarters of US-based economists oppose a broad minimum wage of $15 per hour. Five out of six economists surveyed say that a $15 minimum wage would reduce job opportunities for young jobseekers. A recent summary from the San Francisco Federal Reserve finds minimum wage hikes cause “job loss for the least-skilled workers—with possibly larger adverse effects than earlier research suggested.”


States that have already experimented with dramatic minimum wage increases are already feeling the impact of lost job opportunities and business closures:


-In nearby Maine, Dee’s Route 202 Diner recently laid off one employee and reduced evening hours after the state increased its minimum wage.


-In neighboring Massachusetts, Bacci Chocolate Design parent of the CB Stuffer brand, sold its retail store, which employed about five part-time workers, in 2015 and invested about $50,000 in equipment to automate routine tasks at its production facility.


-In neighboring New York, the impacts of minimum wage increases have been even worse. Betty’s diner in Buffalo is opening later and closing earlier. New York City’s Da Silvano, frequented by names such as Madonna and Owen Wilson, closed its doors. China Fun Eatery, another popular New York City establishment also closed its doors due to the minimum wage.


These stories and dozens more from across the country can be found on


“When Vermont legislators consider a minimum wage increase, they should remember that it would have real consequences on state small businesses and their employees,” said Michael Saltsman, EPI Research Director. “Real-world cases from across the country show that dramatic minimum wage increases have side-effects for small businesses and employees alike.”


For more information, visit EPIOnline.orgTo schedule an interview, contact Sean Kumnick at (202) 463-7650 or

The Employment Policies Institute is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding employment growth. In particular, EPI focuses on issues that affect entry-level employment. EPI receives support from restaurants, foundations, and individuals.