Employment could take a hit if the federal government implements a minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour, according to a new survey of private businesses. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said they would have to lay off workers if Congress approves the minimum wage hike.
The survey was conducted by Express Employment Professionals, posing questions to more than 1,200 business and HR professionals.
Nearly two-thirds said they would raise prices on their goods and services to offset the increase, while more than half said they'd cut back on new hires.
The Congressional Budget Office reported last month that that while raising the country’s minimum wage might boost the incomes of millions of Americans, it would simultaneously mean hundreds of thousands of fewer workers.
According to the CBO, a graduated boost in the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 would lead to an estimated decline in employment of 500,000 workers by the second half of that year. The current minimum wage is $7.25.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) points out that previous studies have shown that minimum wage hikes would hit black and Hispanic teens the hardest, in the form of less hiring.
"If you want to hurt the most disadvantaged in our country, raise the minimum wage. I don't think it's a good idea," he said.
President Obama, however, argues that the wage boost is critical for families that are struggling. He argues that many minimum wage employees work full-time jobs yet still live below the poverty line.
Mike Emanuel reported on the new study this morning. Watch his report above, and tell us which side you're on in this growing debate.