MacIver Institute: Minimum Wage Increase will Hurt Workers and Lead to Higher Unemployment

December 10, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Novak, 608-237-7290

[Madison, Wisc…] Brett Healy, President of the John K. MacIver Institute, released the following statement after Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) Sen. Nikiya Harris (D-Milwaukee) came out in support of raising the minimum wage in Wisconsin to $7.60 per hour:

“Raising the minimum wage hurts workers looking to get their start in the workforce and teenagers looking to make some extra spending money. Minimum wage jobs are not meant to support families. Minimum wage jobs are a starting point in life.

“The MacIver Institute’s research shows that raising the minimum wage will actually increase unemployment, leading more individuals to rely on government assistance.

“Since 2002 the minimum wage in Wisconsin has increased from $5.15 per hour to the current $7.25 per hour; meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Wisconsin teens has increased from 15.5 to 19.8, an increase of 27.7 percent over the decade. The higher you artificially inflate the minimum wage, the higher the unemployment rate for teenagers.

“Small businesses will not be able to pay the artificially inflated wages and will have to reduce the amount of people they employ and reduce the number of hours worked for the few employees still on payroll.

“The call for a higher minimum wage is nothing but a political stunt. This plan will only hurt the very individuals Sens. Wirch and Harris claim they want to help.”

The MacIver Institute previously released a report that shows 7,109 fewer teenagers are working in Wisconsin today due to increases in minimum wage since 2005.