STATEMENT: Governor Shapiro’s $15 wage could cost Pennsylvania 143k jobs
Publication Date: March 2023
In his inaugural budget address Tuesday, Governor Josh Shapiro proposed raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour as early as January 1, 2024 per his state budget. This would more than double Pennsylvania’s current minimum wage in less than a year, and small businesses have already expressed concerns about adapting to such a hike.
The majority of economists oppose the $15 minimum wage target, arguing it will have negative effects on youth employment and small business survival, as well as exacerbating existing economic obstacles:
- Economists from Miami and Trinity Universities estimate a $15 minimum wage would cost 143,402 Pennsylvania jobs.
- A survey of American labor economists found most believe a $15 minimum wage would have a negative effect on youth employment (75%) and small businesses (81%), and the majority (58%) believe it would contribute to existing inflation.
- An “overwhelming” majority of three decades of academic research on minimum wages finds minimum wage hikes cause job loss for minimum wage earners.
Rebekah Paxton, Research Director at the Employment Policies Institute, released the following statement:
“Pennsylvania lawmakers have time and time again rejected a $15 minimum wage over concerns it will cause damage to the Commonwealth’s small businesses and employees. Governor Shapiro’s proposal to more-than-double the wage overnight would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs the state can’t afford to lose.”