Little Negative Effect Seen From Pa’s Higher Minimum Wage

Category : Other Stuff

From, “When Pennsylvania boosted the minimum wage twice in 2007, restaurants, retailers and other business interests groaned.

A report issued this week by the state’s Minimum Wage Advisory Board shows why they were worried. Businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail trade sectors employed two-thirds of all of those making minimum wage in 2007.

Business owners complained that increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.15 per hour would raise their costs, forcing them to cut workers.

The increase directly affected 132,800 Pennsylvania workers, or about 4 percent who earn an hourly wage, the advisory board said.

It cited census statistics showing a less than 1 percent decline in employment in retail trade and manufacturing shortly after the two wage hikes. However, employment in leisure and hospitality rose by less than 1 percent during the same time period.

So call it a wash.

Any worry that Pennsylvania is less competitive with the higher wage will be moot as the federal minimum wage rises from $5.85 to $6.55 on July 24 and to $7.25 in July 2009.”

Have you noticed any changes?