New Ad in Hartford Courant Blasts Proposed Connecticut Minimum Wage Hike

Full-Page Ad Quotes Leading Economists Criticizing Minimum Wage Increases
  • Publication Date: May 2008

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) criticized a proposed increase to Connecticut’s minimum wage with a full-page print advertisement in the Hartford Courant. The ad highlights quotes by renowned economists Alan Greenspan, Milton Friedman, and Gary Becker who believe that minimum wage hikes kill jobs and hurt low-skilled and less educated members of the workforce.

Substantial economic research clearly shows that large increases in the minimum wage bring about increased job loss, particularly among the most vulnerable members of the workforce. Today’s ad quotes Milton Friedman saying “The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers, is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest. Yet it is largely a result of minimum wage laws.” Greenspan goes further saying, “The minimum wage…destroys jobs and I think the evidence on that, in my judgment, is overwhelming.”

The job loss is a result of consistently increasing wages by law without any corresponding improvements in productivity or the economic climate. If this legislation passes, businesses with 20 entry-level employees would have to absorb approximately $25,000 in new labor costs over the next 18 months. Businesses with small profit margins would need to sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional goods to recoup those increased costs.

In the face of this data the Connecticut House and Senate still passed legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage. The legislation’s fate currently lies in the hands of Governor Jodi Rell.

“Decades of economic research clearly demonstrate that minimum wage hikes result in job loss for the most vulnerable members of the economy,” said Rick Berman, Executive Director of the Employment Policies Institute. “The unintended consequences of this legislation would be pricing low-skilled working men and women in Connecticut out of the job market and increasing unemployment among those groups that need help the most.”

“Supporters of the increased minimum wage in Connecticut should consider both the stagnant economy and the inevitable job loss that would follow this hike,” Berman concluded. “Anyone who thinks this legislation will be good for Connecticut residents should think again.”

You can view the entire ad at www.old.epionline.org.

The Employment Policies Institute is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding entry-level employment. For additional information or to schedule an interview with a spokesperson call Tim Miller at 202.463.7650.