New NELP Study Relies on Flawed Methodology

  • Publication Date: April 2014

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

Washington, D.C. – Today the Employment Policies Institute is dismissing a new report from the labor union-backed National Employment Law Project (NELP) as a flawed study that relies on a faulty methodology.

Michael Saltsman, EPI’s research director, released the following statement in response to the new analysis:
This new study by the union-backed National Employment Law Project (NELP) relies (again) on a flawed methodology that’s designed to produce skewed results to support the group’s narrative on wages.

NELP’s report arbitrarily classifies some industries as low-wage and others as mid-wage. For instance, NELP classifies industries with a $13.33 hourly median wage as low-wage–and those paying just 40 cents more per hour as mid-wage.

If NELP had instead classified industries paying $13.33 an hour as mid-wage, it would have completely undermined its argument on low-wage job growth. EPI’s review of NELP’s research shows that most of the job growth would have instead been classified as mid-wage.

In other words, the key finding of NELP’s study hinges entirely on making an arbitrary distinction between two industries where the median pay is almost identical.

NELP isn’t interested in a serious policy discussion–it’s interested in using shoddy research to advocate for a higher minimum wage. It’s unfortunate that a paper like The New York Times bought it hook, line, and sinker.