Oklahomans Should Beware of Unintended Consequences of $15 Wage

Economists Estimate it Could Cost Over 12,000 Jobs Statewide
  • Publication Date: February 2024

Arlington, Va. – Today, the Oklahoma Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding State Question 832, a ballot measure proposing a $15 minimum wage statewide. The Court will soon issue a decision on whether proponents will be able to move forward gathering signatures to place it on the ballot in November.

The Employment Policies Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C.-area nonprofit specializing in economic policy research, estimates this policy would slash jobs and endanger business survival. 

If approved at the ballot, SQ 832 would more than double the current state minimum wage by 2029 and allow for annual increases every year after. Economists from Miami and Trinity Universities estimate this policy could kill 12,313 jobs in Oklahoma.

Rebekah Paxton, EPI’s research director, made the following statement:

“The $15 minimum wage push is an empty political play that would crush thousands of employees and small business owners. These adverse consequences have played out in real-time across the country. Doubling Oklahoma’s mandated minimum wage will prop up activists at the expense of over 12,000 employees left without a job.”