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    Minimum Wage Hike Means ‘Minimum Opportunities’: NRF

    Trade group says move would adversely affect businesses with entry-level workers

    In response to President Barack Obama’s announcement during the Jan. 28 State of the Union address that he will sign an executive order raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts and ask Congress to approve the same increase for all workers, Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation (NRF), responded that such a move would actually result in “minimum opportunities.”

    A Matter of Math

    “We welcome the president’s focus on the economy and jobs, but a minimum wage hike runs counter to that goal,” explained Shay. “Raising the minimum wage would place a new burden on employers at a time when national policy should be focused on removing barriers to job creation, not creating new regulations or mandates. It’s simple math -- if the cost of hiring goes up, hiring goes down.”

    Added Shay: “Fewer than 5 percent of hourly workers are paid the minimum wage. It’s really a starting wage that allows teenagers or others with little job experience to enter the workforce. A mandated hike in labor costs would negatively impact businesses that employ people in entry-level jobs and ultimately hurt the people it is intended to help. This isn’t economic theory – when the minimum wage went up in 2009, half a million part-time workers lost their jobs. That’s a risk our economy can’t afford to take.”

     

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