New Survey: 62 Percent of Economists Oppose $15 Federal Minimum Wage

Three-fourths believe ending federal tip credit will slash tipped restaurant jobs
  • Publication Date: April 2022

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2022) — Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released a new survey reflecting labor economists’ views of a federal $15 minimum wage conducted by Dr. Lloyd Corder of CorCom, Inc., Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh.

The online survey was completed by 160 US economists in February 2022. Responding economists specialized primarily in labor (69%), and a majority of economists (63%) had over 20 years of experience in the field

View the full survey and a breakdown of findings in the Washington Free Beacon.

Key conclusions include:

  • A significant majority (62%) oppose raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Three-quarters (75%) believe a $15 minimum wage would negatively affect employment for 16-19 year olds.
  • Eighty-one percent agree it would negatively impact small businesses.
  • In CA and HI where proposals include increases to $18 per hour, economists overwhelmingly agreed (73%) this would decrease employment in the hospitality industries in each state.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) believe that eliminating the tipped wage will reduce the number of tipped jobs in the restaurant industry.
  • Fifty-eight percent believe raising the wage to $15 will add to inflation.

These findings support the overwhelming majority of studies demonstrating minimum wage hikes cause job loss, including a Congressional Budget Office report last year which assessed the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would have killed up to 2.7 million jobs.

“While the loudest voices argue a $15 minimum wage won’t hurt employees and job opportunities, this survey indicates they are in the minority compared to economic experts,” said Michael Saltsman, Managing Director of the Employment Policies Institute. “As the economy recovers from pandemic shocks, the majority of economists agree a $15 federal minimum wage hike would cause more pain for businesses and their employees.”