New Survey: 74 Percent of Economists Oppose $15 Federal Minimum Wage

Eighty-four percent believe it will negatively affect youth employment
  • Publication Date: March 2019

  • Topics: Living Wage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released a new survey conducted by Dr. Lloyd Corder of CorCom Inc., regarding labor economists’ views of a federal $15 minimum wage. The survey identified overwhelming opposition to a $15 minimum wage mandate.

View the full survey here.

The survey’s key findings are as follows

  • 74 percent oppose raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour;
  • 84 percent believe a $15 minimum wage will have negative effects on youth employment;
  • Two-thirds of economists (66 percent) believe that an appropriate federal minimum wage is $10 an hour or less;
  • Just six percent believe a $15 minimum wage is a very efficient means to target individuals in poverty, while 64 percent said the same thing about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The online survey was completed by 197 US economists between January 31st and February 19th, 2019. Responding economists specialized primarily in labor (64%), and a majority of economists (66%) had over 20 years of experience in the field. Survey respondents varied in political affiliations with 46 percent self-identifying as Independent, 35 percent as Democrat, 12 percent as Republican, and 8 percent as other.

Dr. Lloyd Corder, who conducted the survey, holds adjunct professor positions at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and at the University of Pittsburgh. He has more than 25 years of experience in the field.

These findings support a recent EPI study which estimated that a federal $15 minimum wage could result in up to two million jobs lost.

EPI communications director Samantha Summers released the following statement:

“Economists from across the country are overwhelming opposed to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, and their skepticism is supported by the empirical research. Members of Congress deciding whether to support such an extreme increase should listen to economic experts who know this policy will hurt those it is intended to help.”