According to a new survey conducted by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), Seattle’s new $15 minimum wage law will lead to higher consumer prices, reduced job opportunities and business closures. Overall, EPI’s survey of 265 Seattle businesses—90% of which were small businesses with less than 50 employees (50% with less than 10 employees)—resulted in troubling, albeit predictable, responses.
About 70 percent of businesses surveyed confirmed that a $15 minimum wage would result in a “big increase” in labor costs. So, how will these businesses cover the increase in costs?
- 63 percent said they were “very likely” to raise prices
- 44 percent reported they were “very likely” to scale back employees’ hours
- 42 percent said they were “very likely” to reduce the number of employees per shift or staffing levels at their business
- 43 percent said it was “very likely” they would limit future expansion in the city of Seattle
Responding to the survey’s results, EPI research director Michael Saltsman said that the “survey results suggest that proponents of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage hike were being less than truthful when they said a minimum wage hike wouldn’t hurt employers and employees… Seattle may be the first major city to $15, but it will also be the first to find out why it’s a bad idea.”
Here’s hoping the bad idea never comes to fruition.