Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 5, 2020 


It will likely take donations to help the Twin Cities recover from damage by looters; and state and local governments look for relief in next stimulus bill.

2020Talks - June 5, 2020 


Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

CBO: Benefits Outweigh Costs of $15 Minimum Wage

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would reduce the number of people in the U.S. living in poverty by 1.3 million. (Pixabay)
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would reduce the number of people in the U.S. living in poverty by 1.3 million. (Pixabay)
July 12, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. – The benefits of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would far outweigh any costs, according to a report released this week by the Congressional Budget Office.

Former U.S. Labor Department chief economist Heidi Shierholz, now a senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute, said the move would raise wages for 27 million low-wage workers, and would increase those workers' family incomes by $22 billion annually.

"Inequality would go down; the number of people living in poverty would go down by 1.3 million," Shierholz explained. "And nearly half of those would be kids, because their parents get a raise."

The last time Nebraska's minimum wage went up was in 2008, from $6.55 to $9 an hour. The state also allows exemptions for a variety of workers, including agricultural workers.

Critics of a proposal introduced this year in the U.S. House to raise the federal wage to $15 an hour by 2024 said workers could lose jobs or see reduced hours, and warned that higher labor costs could be passed along to consumers.

According to Shierholz, most studies – including from the libertarian Cato Institute – have confirmed that raising the minimum wage hasn't resulted in substantial job loss. Most businesses are able to absorb the cost through a reduction in staff turnover, which she says is typically high in the low-wage job market.

"Because people are just more invested in their jobs. That reduces a huge expense for employers," she said. "The cost of someone leaving and replacing a worker can be up to 20 percent of annual wages."

Shierholz thinks businesses also would benefit overall if the wage floor was raised, because low-wage workers tend to spend any additional money on necessities.

She noted that prices at restaurants have gone up by just .6% for every 10% increase in the minimum wage. She added that polls have found people are willing to pay a little more if it means workers get better wages.


Eric Galatas, Public News Service - NE