Study Finds $10.10 Minimum Wage Would Cost Pennsylvania 30,000 Jobs

Wage hike would have a disproportionate impact on women, minimal impact on poverty
  • Publication Date: November 2015

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

Washington D.C. — In advance of an anticipated Senate vote on a $10.10 minimum wage, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is highlighting a study by Drs. David Macpherson of Trinity University and William Even of Miami University finding that 30,000 jobs would be lost in Pennsylvania if the state increases its minimum wage to $10.10. State Sen. Christine Tartaglione is trying to force the Senate to vote on her legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage by 39 percent to $10.10.

Last year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded that 500,000 jobs would be lost nationwide from a federal minimum wage increase to $10.10. Replicating its methodology, the economists can determine the number of jobs lost in Pennsylvania and who would be most affected. They estimate that 65 percent of the job loss would be among women, who are more likely to be employed in entry-level jobs (see table below).

 Male Job Loss  Female Job Loss
Pennsylvania 10,615 19,647

The economists also found that only eight percent of those affected are single parents and only 15 percent are single earners with families (see table below). Because so many minimum wage earners live in households where they’re either a second- or third- earners, the average household income in Pennsylvania for those affected by a minimum wage increase to $10.10 is $61,762. These data suggest that a wage hike is unlikely to have a measurable impact on poverty.

  Single Adult Single Parent Married Sole Earner Married Dual Earner Living With Family or Relative
Pennsylvania 19.6 7.8 6.9 19.5 46

Read the full analysis here.

“While minimum wage proponents claim $10.10 would help Pennsylvania’s poor, economists say otherwise, estimating that it would cost the state 30,000 jobs,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute. “If Pennsylvania legislators were truly interested in helping the poor, they’d explore a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit, which has significantly helped the poor in neighboring states.”