Hannah News Service: PMO Report Says Minimum Wage Increase Could Add $6.1B to Economy

Hannah Report
Hannah News Service, Columbus, OH, April 13, 2021

Policy Matters Ohio (PMO) released a report Tuesday on the potential benefits of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with researcher Michael Shields saying it would add $6.1 billion into the state economy each year, benefit 1.56 million Ohioans and drive greater pay equity for women and minorities. ...

Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, discussed how the increase would help companies as well.

“The minimum wage has become a poverty wage instead of an anti-poverty wage and that is bad for business as well as workers,” she said. “Workers are also customers. Most businesses have many more customers than employees. Local businesses depend on local customers to make enough to buy what they are selling.”

Sklar also noted that the minimum wage was instituted due to the Great Depression to help both workers and businesses, but said this is the longest period in history without a national increase, making it a “poverty wage” rather than an anti-poverty measure. The Ohio living wage is around $13.16 for one adult without children, Sklar added, according to an MIT calculation using pre-pandemic data.

A minimum wage must be enough to live on during the COVID-19 recovery, she continued, discussing how workers are also customers and that boosting pay also helps fuel the economy, reduce turnover and improve customer service. Low minimum wages also make it more difficult for small businesses, she said, as [some] large corporations have raised their wages to around $15 an hour. ...

Sklar said that there is support for raising the wage among business leaders, but others “get stuck in their ways” and that there is a need to continue pushing for an increase. ...

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Copyright 2021 Hannah News Service, Inc.

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