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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