A few weeks ago we discussed how a consortium of over 50 business groups, chambers of commerce and economic development agencies have developed a campaign called the Minimum Wage Reality Check (www.minimumwagerealitycheck.com) to share real world examples of businesses and organizations which are fearful of the negative impact of the minimum wage legislation. The Business Council of Westchester put out an additional memo this week clearly demonstrating how an ill-conceived push to impose an arbitrary and economically unsustainable $15/hour minimum wage will hurt not only businesses but the very workers it was intended to support!
According to a February survey sanctioned by the BCW of those opposing the $15 wage:
- 97% said it would decrease their hiring from youth workforce development programs.
- 91% would likely or definitely hire fewer employees.
- 47% said it would somewhat or significantly drive up wages for other employees.
- 46% would likely or definitely curtail expansion plans.
- 42% would likely or definitely reduce employee benefits to make up for the increase.
- 37% said it would likely or definitely cause layoffs.
- 15% said they would need to close their businesses.
That is hardly a recipe for success! Plus it runs counter to the very advice we should be giving unskilled workers, which is to get the readily available training necessary to get better paying jobs which are available throughout the Hudson Valley. Granted we don’t have as many $15 and up jobs here that other parts of the state enjoy, but the more collective skills we obtain the better chances of attracting more employers to Putnam County which will pay competitive wages. That’s why some of us think the correct hashtag should be #Find15 – if you are looking to find a better job, we think we can help you get there!
– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce