A $15 minimum wage has been a goal for many Democratic representatives. And all but three 2020 presidential candidates have endorsed the increase.
This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report estimating the $15 wage mandate would eliminate up to 3.7 million jobs. The impact would fall hardest on the least skilled; CBO estimates that 50% of the job-losers are ages 16-19.
Job losses from a $15 state or local minimum wage are already proving the damage across the country. Harvard Business School and Mathematica Policy Research found a spike in restaurant closures as a consequence of San Francisco's rapidly rising minimum wage. In New York City, roughly 6,000 restaurant jobs were eliminated last year following a steep wage hold.
A $15 federal minimum wage will only hurt those it intends to help, ending thousands of starter job opportunities and often wiping out the businesses that provide them.
Samantha Summers is the communications director for Employment Policies Institute.