Video: Minimum Wage Limits Opportunity

Giving workers a boost in their hourly wages sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? But, like most government-imposed market restrictions, it has some pretty negative consequences—like higher prices for consumers and fewer job openings for those looking to work.

CF’s Katrina Anderson recently made the case on WFMZ-TV’s Business Matters that forcing hikes in labor costs by raising the minimum wage will harm family businesses and put young and low-skilled workers out of work.

Katrina points out that only 3 percent of Pennsylvania workers actually earn the minimum wage and the majority of them are under the age of 25. Forcing business to pay these workers more will surely make it harder for those first starting out to gain skills and work experience—effectively cutting off the first rung on their ladder to career success.

Indeed, many industries—like fast food—that have typically given low-wage workers their first job opportunity are transitioning to automation to control costs. Raising the minimum wage will only accelerate this process.

Katrina emphasizes that we want solutions that truly help lift the poor out of poverty, not policies that sound benevolent but actually limit opportunities for those that need it most.

For more on the minimum wage, please read our op-ed “The True Cost of Minimum Wage,” which tells the story of a small business owner considering automation as a response to a potential $15 minimum wage.

And check out the facts and figures in our policy points, “The Harmful Effects of a Minimum Wage Increase.”