Economist: raising minimum wage would hurt job growth

Mar 28, 2014

An economist predicts raising the minimum wage in Illinois would hurt job growth.

  Illinois’ current minimum wage of 8-25 an hour is already a dollar more than the federal rate. Governor Pat Quinn wants to make it 10 dollars an hour.

Senior Economist William Strauss with the Federal Reserve says that would likely cost Illinois jobs.

                                     “You know, you raise the price of anything and less of it gets consumed, whether it’s ice cream cones or whether it’s labor. So we’re going to see less activity in the job market and I worry about a time where we have such high employment rates especially among the young.” 

 Illinois already has the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest. 

 Strauss says there are several other ways to help low-income families like through government assistance programs. He says an across the board increase to minimum wage will instead benefit a majority of part-time and inexperienced workers.

 The feds are also considering raising the minimum wage nationally to 10 dollars-10 cents an hour. The congressional budget office estimates that increase could cost half a million workers their jobs.