President Obama’s Executive Order to Raise the Minimum Wage Will Not Help Workers

January 29, 2014

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

[Madison, Wisc…] Brett Healy, President of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, released the following statement after President Barack Obama’s call to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers in his State of the Union address on Tuesday:

“The President’s use of executive order to increase the minimum wage for federal contract workers is nothing more than a political stunt that will do nothing to help low-income workers.

“The ploy only applies to future contracts – no workers currently under contract will see a raise – and even the Washington Post confirmed that the White House was ‘unable to quantify how many could be helped by the program in the next year.’

“President Obama clearly was making the statement to win praise on the left, but in truth raising the minimum wage would hurt the exact individuals the President claims he is going to help.

“In fact, 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 young workers.

“I am not surprised the President has joined many on the left in supporting a policy that is only going to hurt low-income workers.”

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.