[OPINION] Devine Wrong On Minimum Wage

by Michael Saltsman, research director, Employment Policies Institute

James Devine claims that New Jerseyans are “getting screwed over by an economy that does not work for us anymore.” (“Voice of the People: Underrated Buono Is New Jersey’s Best Bet,” July 14.) He lists a minimum wage hike as one of the ways to fix this problem. Unfortunately, economic evidence suggests it would actually hurt the people Mr. Devine wants to help.

According to a comprehensive review of minimum wage research by economists at the University of California-Irvine and the Federal Reserve Board, a full 85% of the most credible studies on the subject over the last two decades point to job losses following a wage hike. These consequences are felt most by less-skilled job seekers such as teens, who already face a 26.9 percent unemployment rate in the Garden State.

If Mr. Devine wants to do his fellow residents a favor, he should advocate for lowering barriers to employment–not creating more of them.

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1 comment for “[OPINION] Devine Wrong On Minimum Wage

  1. James Devine
    July 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is a conservative front group that operates out of the offices of Berman and Company, a Washington, D.C. public relations organization with clients among many low-wage corporations such as hotels and restaurants.

    “Yes, a number of studies have found a link between a higher minimum wage and higher unemployment. But many others, such as this recent paper from U.C. Berkeley that exploited differences across state borders, have found no effect at all. Quite often, hiking the minimum wage by a buck or two doesn’t appear to worsen unemployment in any noticeable way.”


    The Center for Economic and Policy Research report identified “employment effect of the minimum wage is one of the most studied topics in all of economics” and asserts that “The weight of that evidence points to little or no employment response to modest increases in the minimum wage.”


    A comparison after New Jersey raised its minimum wage indicated, “employment actually expanded in New Jersey relative to Pennsylvania, where the minimum wage was constant” (Card and Krueger 1995, p. 66).


    Lies like these make conservatives nothing more than con artists. I stand by by column and I support New Jersey’s proposed minimum wage increase.

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