For Immediate Release
November 13, 2015
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the Independent Fiscal Office’s research brief on the impact a government mandated minimum wage increase would have in Pennsylvania. The IFO found that an increase to $10.10, as proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf, could lead to the loss of more than 30,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth. The report supports the findings of a 2014 study by the Congressional Budget Office that showed an increase to $10.10 could lead to the loss of 500,000 to as many as 1 million jobs nationwide. The complete IFO report is available online.
“The recent IFO report confirms the concerns we have been hearing from our broad-based membership – that a mandated wage hike will lead to serious unintended consequences – including the loss of tens of thousands of jobs throughout the Commonwealth. And while the outright loss of a job is certainly the most severe and harmful impact, history has shown that mandated wage hikes also force many employers to reduce hours for their employees, curtail planned expansions and increase prices of goods and services.”
“The results from our 2015 Economic Survey show that employers are already feeling less confident about Pennsylvania’s economy when compared to last year, with only two in ten employers looking to hire. If the state increases labor costs through a mandated wage increase, it could lead to an even worse economic outlook and fewer job opportunities.”
“Rather than imposing mandates that will trigger job loss – as confirmed by the IFO report – lawmakers should look at more targeted approaches to helping low-income workers. A greater focus should be placed on workforce development and the training needed to close an existing jobs skills gap and offer long-term career opportunities at family-sustaining wages. Additionally, some states have implemented a state Earned Income Tax Credit, which more directly targets assistance to low-income workers, especially those raising families.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.