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Study: Proposed minimum wage increase would eliminate 11,500 jobs

Increasing the minimum wage in Maryland could eliminate more than 11,500 jobs and could result in $760 million in losses to personal income, according to a study released Monday.

Anthony Brown

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown speaking at a Jan. 14, 2014 rally in Annapolis calling for the increase in Maryland’s minimum wage. (The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

The study by the Maryland Foundation for Research and Economic Education projects that increasing the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $9 an hour  would result in a lost of 9,514 jobs in the state. An increase to $10 would cause a loss of 11,502 jobs and increasing the minimum wage to $12 would cause a loss of $16,387 jobs.

That same study predicts personal income loss of $630 million, $760 million and $1.07 billion, respectively by 2020.

Additionally, the study reports that increasing the minimum wage in the state would:

  • Increase the price of consumer goods.
  • Reduce employment and personal income.
  • Weaken the state’s competitive position relative to adjacent states having lower labor costs.
  • Slow the growth of gross state product.
  • Slow population growth and weaken real estate values.

The study was released the day before Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown is scheduled to testify in favor of legislation that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour by 2016. The bill would also link automatic increases to the rate of inflation, similar to how the General Assembly set future increases in the gas tax last year.

A study by the Economic Policy Institute, which supports minimum wage increases, estimates that 455,000 residents will benefit from the increase. That number includes people who make more than the current minimum wage but who are expected to see their pay increase as the state’s minimum wage rises.

Gov. Martin J. O’Malley was also scheduled to testify but a spokeswoman said O’Malley will attend a funeral in the afternoon that conflicts with the hearing schedule.

Impact of MD Minimum Wage Final by Bryan P. Sears