News release: Keystone Research Center
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Increasing Pennsylvania’s minimum hourly wage to $10.10 instead of $8.75 would benefit nearly three times as many workers, boost wages more than five times as much and create more than 8 ½ times as many jobs, according to a Policy Watch from the Keystone Research Center.
Falling Short: The Impact of Raising the Minimum Wage in PA to $8.75 vs. $10.10 looks at two competing proposals in the General Assembly to raise the state’s minimum wage above the federal level of $7.25. One proposal would raise it to $10.10 by July 2016. Another proposal would raise it to only $8.75 by 2017 for workers 19 and older and leave it at $7.25 for those 18 and younger.
“In our comparison we found that both minimum hourly wage increases would boost earnings and employment. But the proposed increase to $10.10 would benefit many more workers, provide a far bigger boost to the economy and benefit nearly three times as many adults as the lower proposed increase,” said Dr. Mark Price, labor economist with the KRC and co-author of the report.
An increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would:
- Raise the wages of 1.27 million workers in Pennsylvania
- Boost total wages in Pennsylvania by $1.9 billion
- Lead to the creation of 6,000 jobs by increasing consumption by middle- and low-income families at local businesses
An increase in the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour by 2017 would:
- Raise the wages of 404,000 workers (a third as many as an increase to $10.10)
- Boost total wages in Pennsylvania by $353 million (19 percent of the total wage gains of a $10.10 per hour increase)
- Lead to the creation of only 700 jobs (12 percent as many as a $10.10 per hour increase)
“Measured by the positive impact on families and the economy, there’s no real comparison between these two proposals,” David Cooper, co-author of the report and senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, said. “An increase to $10.10 per hour provides a meaningful boost to Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians. An increase to $8.75 with some youth still stuck at $7.25 does not.”