A federal minimum wage hike to $15 an hour is a two-edged sword — benefitting millions who would get the pay raise and hurting millions who would lose their jobs, according to a new report.
The Congressional Budget Office report released Monday found hiking a $7.25 hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would raise the average weekly pay of an estimated 17 million, but wind up tossing as many as 3.7 million out of work.
It also found a rise to $15 an hour would cut output and business income — a cost that would be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices — for a cumulative $9 billion hit to median family income.
About 1.3 million people would be pulled out of poverty, the report found.
Heidi Shierholz, senior economist for the Economic Policy Institute, which supports increasing the minimum wage, said the report showed "as a group, low-wage workers would be unambiguously better off," the Washington Times reported.
However, Samantha Summers, a spokeswoman for the Employment Policies Institute, disagreed, the news outlet reported.
"If House Democrats were uneasy about voting on $15 before this week, the CBO report should have them terrified," Summers said in a statement. "The CBO provides further evidence of what countless studies have also shown: Raising the federal minimum wage will only hurt those it intends to help, wiping out thousands of starter job opportunities and shuttering the businesses that provide them."
The report comes ahead of the House vote on the Raise the Wage Act, the Times noted.
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