Letter: Raising minimum wage will cost jobs

ISSUE | MINIMUM WAGE

Raises will cost jobs

An Inquirer editorial failed to account for unintended consequences of government-mandated wage increases, including a loss of jobs ("Pay the poor better wages," March 21).

The Congressional Budget Office found that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would result in a loss of up to one million jobs nationwide. A study by the Independent Fiscal Office showed a loss of 31,000 jobs throughout Pennsylvania.

There would also be a negative impact on youth employment, especially in urban areas such as Philadelphia. Forcing employers to increase entry-level wages would significantly reduce job opportunities for young workers.

To help older low-wage earners, we need to help provide skills training. Strengthening development programs would give prospective workers the tools they need to fill vacancies and close the jobs-skills gap. And more targeted approaches, such as implementing an earned income tax credit, would help low-wage earners who are supporting families as they move upward through the workforce.

|Alex Halper, director, government affairs, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Harrisburg