A government analysis of the proposal from Democrats to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour says that it would cost the economy 1.4 million jobs if implemented.
The startling analysis was released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The jobs would be lost cumulatively over four years because the proposal would gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to more than twice that amount by 2025.
The report said, “17 million workers whose wages would otherwise be below $15 per hour would be directly affected, and many of the 10 million workers whose wages would otherwise be slightly above that wage rate would also be affected.”
The CBO found that in addition to those who would lose employment, another 900,000 people would be brought up above the poverty line.
Also, revenues into the government would increase based on the proposal, but those would be offset by increases in spending due to the rise in the cost of products and services. It estimating raising the minimum wage would increase the government’s deficits by $54 billion over 10 years.
Republicans have opposed the proposal, especially at a time when so many have already lost their jobs over the shutdown from the coronavirus pandemic.
“In Iowa, [a $15 minimum wage] would hammer our small business, when they are trying to get back on their feet, they are most vulnerable right now,” said Republican Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa).
Despite making it a plank in his 2020 presidential platform, Biden signaled in an interview Sunday that the proposal would likely be abandoned in current legislation being negotiated by Congress.
“My guess is it will not be in it,” Biden said. “I don’t think it is going to survive.”