Full-Page Ads in Pueblo Chieftain and Aurora Sentinel Highlight Consequences of $12 Starter Wage for Colorado

Ad illustrates how ballot initiative cuts off bottom rungs of career ladder for less-skilled employees
  • Publication Date: October 2016

Washington D.C. – Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) highlighted the placement of a full-page ad in the Pueblo Chieftain and Aurora Sentinel showcasing how a $12 minimum wage cuts of the bottom rungs of the career ladder for less-skilled employees. The ad also points to research finding that a $12 minimum wage would eliminate job opportunities for as many as 90,000 less-skilled employees.

View the ad, which ran yesterday in the Chieftain and runs Thursday in the Sentinel,  here.

The ad features a young employee looking worryingly at a career ladder with the bottom rungs of entry-level jobs cut out and is headlined: “$12 Minimum Wage: Putting Starter Jobs out of Reach.”

The text at the bottom reads: “A $12 starting wage in Colorado will eliminate job opportunities for as many as 90,000 less-skilled employees. If people can’t find their first job, how will they find their next one?”

A June study conducted by Eric Fruits, president and chief economist of the Economics International Corp, found that up to 90,000 jobs would be lost if the state passes a $12 minimum wage.

Read the study here.

Cities and states that have already experimented with such dramatic starter wage increases are feeling the consequences first-hand. In Oakland, CA which raised its minimum wage to $12.25 last year, at least 10 grocery stores and restaurants closed in its Chinatown neighborhood partially because of the wage hike.

In nearby Berkeley, whose minimum wage is currently $12.53, the coffee shop Mokka decided it will close this summer primarily because of the minimum wage increase. Black Oak Books, a large independent bookstore in the city, closed its doors after 33 years partially because of the wage hike.

Further north in Sacramento, the higher state minimum wage recently forced the closure of another bookstore. And in San Francisco, whose minimum wage is currently $13, numerous restaurants, including Abbot’s CellarSourceLuna Park, and Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, have closed citing the minimum wage increase as a determining factor. More stories can be found at Facesof15.com.

A recent paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco summarized the research on minimum wages increases, and confirmed that past hikes have measurably reduced job opportunities.

“Coloradans should recognize that a vote for a dramatic minimum wage increases is also a vote against the interests of less-skilled jobseekers who are looking to gain a toehold on the career ladder,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute.

For more information, visit EPIOnline.org. To schedule an interview, contact Jordan Bruneau at (202) 463-7650 or [email protected].

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.