New survey of state business owners shows closures and lost jobs at proposed $15 minimum wage

WASHINGTON D.C. - A new survey of mostly small Florida businesses show that a proposed $15 minimum wage could have negative consequences.

Friday at 5:00 p.m. the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is expected to reveal that the state's 2018 minimum wage would increase to $8.25, in line with the cost of living.

The survey was conducted by Dr. Lloyd Corder, president of CorCom Inc. and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh, and found that a significant portion of state businesses would be forced to cut staff, reduce hours, or close their doors entirely because of a $15 wage mandate.

He surveyed 306 Florida businesses likely to be affected by a $15 minimum wage and found 

•    18 percent of respondents would be “very likely” to go out of business because of a $15 minimum wage.
 
•    39 percent would be “very likely” to reduce staff.
 
•    43 percent would be “very likely” to reduce hours.
 
•    24 percent would be “very likely” to reduce Florida expansion.

The survey found that for nearly half of respondents, they’d be forced to take such offsetting actions when the minimum wage reached $11, suggesting a $15 minimum wage phased-in over several years would not ameliorate its negative consequences.

The survey was conducted between July 18, 2017 and August 16, 2017 and has a margin of error of plus or minus six percentage points.

“Florida’s business owners have offered activists and policymakers calling for a $15 minimum wage a stark warning,” said Michael Saltsman, managing director at the Employment Policies Institute. “You can have a $15 minimum wage or you can have the same number of business and job opportunities in the state, but you can’t have both.”

Read the full survey here.

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