Virginia’s Proposed $15 Wage Could Cost over 12,000 Jobs

The Employment Policies Institute Slams SB 1 and HB1, “Nothing but feel-good politics endangering tens of thousands of Virginia jobs” 
  • Publication Date: February 2024

Arlington, Va. – Today, the Virginia Senate advanced its bill (SB 1) proposing an increase in the state minimum wage from $12 to $15 per hour. Last week, the House referred its own identical bill (HB 1) to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor for consideration. Tuesday was the deadline for each chamber to advance legislation in order to send it to colleagues in the opposite chamber. 

The Employment Policies Institute (EPI), a  Virginia nonprofit specializing in economic policy research, estimates this policy would slash thousands of jobs and endanger business survival. 

The bills also would require the state minimum wage to increase every year in perpetuity based on nationwide inflation. Economists from Miami and Trinity Universities estimate this policy could kill 12,127 jobs in Virginia.

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

“The Assembly bills are bad policy with no guardrails, setting the Commonwealth up for year after year of hurdles for businesses to overcome. Similar minimum wage hikes across the country have slashed jobs and shut down businesses, and are opposed by a majority of American labor economists. These bills are nothing but feel-good politics endangering tens of thousands of Virginia jobs.”