Policy Brief

A $15 Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania Would Cost Nearly 86,000 Jobs


Lawmakers in Harrisburg are proposing drastic changes to the state minimum wage. One such proposal, HB 1500, would raise the regular minimum wage up to $15.00 per hour, while also raising the tipped minimum wage to $9.00 per hour, a more-than 200 percent increase. A large majority of economic research and American labor economists agree this proposal would have significant negative consequences for employment, particularly for tipped restaurant employees.
Using methodology developed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, a $15 minimum wage and tipped wage increase is estimated to have the following negative impacts on employment:
  • Pennsylvania can expect to lose over 85,779 jobs.
  • Sixty-four percent of job losses will be among women, and 70% will be lost among 16-24 year olds.
  • The restaurant and bar industry will account for roughly half of all job losses.
  • Tipped employees will account for 31,923 of all jobs lost. This means by 2026, roughly 1 in 4 tipped employees in Pennsylvania will lose their jobs.